Changes in Hazard Communication (Hazcom)

Share Post

Can you tell me what is changing in Hazard Communication and when I have to have comply?

The Safety Exchange Says: Most employees are familiar with the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and labels that manufacturers and vendors of hazardous chemicals are required to provide to end users as part of OSHA’s Hazard Communication (HazCom) standard. With the growth of the global economy it became apparent that a more universal format was needed and the United Nations adopted in 2003 what is called the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals or GHS.

OSHA has adopted the GHS requirements as part of the existing HazCom standard. The major change for end users of hazardous materials is the need to train employees on the new safety data sheets (SDS), label formats, warning pictograms and information conveyed in these documents. This training was supposed to be completed by December 1st, 2013 – so you’ll want to get after it if you are behind schedule. A simple slide show and reviewing some updated examples of labels, hazard statements, pictogram warnings, and SDSs will go a long way. Be sure to document the presence of everyone in your training.

Employers are also still required to provide all the other training required under the HazCom standard, including how to obtain an SDS, what information is provided in these documents, hazardous materials used in the workplace, and the precautions necessary to work with these in a safe manner. Remember to refresh training when chemicals change or a worker is transferred to work duties involving other hazardous chemicals.

A brief fact sheet can be found at: and OSHA’s HazCom page is located at:

Was this article helpful?