Hazcom and the Globally Harmonized System

Requirements for a Hazard Communication Program

All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must have labels and safety data sheets for their exposed workers, and train them to handle the chemicals appropriately.

Hazard classification: Provides specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards, as well as classification of mixtures.

Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements must also be provided.

Safety Data Sheets are now printed in a standardized 16-section format. These 16 sections cover PPE, proper usage of product, Pictorgrams showing the Hazards, warning phrases and much more. The 16 sections of any SDS are as follows:

Section 1—Identification:  Product identifier, manufacturer or distributor name, address, phone number, emergency phone number, recommended use, and restrictions on use.

Section 2—Hazard(s) identification: All hazards regarding the chemical and required label elements.

Section 3—Composition/Information on ingredients:  Information on chemical ingredients and trade secret claims.

Section 4—First-aid measures:  Required first aid treatment for exposure to a chemical and the symptoms (immediate or delayed) of exposure.

Section 5—Fire-fighting measures:  The techniques and equipment recommended for extinguishing a fire involving the chemical and hazards that may be created during combustion.

Section 6—Accidental release measures:  Steps to take in the event of a spill or release involving the chemical.  Includes: emergency procedures, protective equipment and proper methods of containment and cleanup.

Section 7—Handling and storage: Precautions for safe handling and storage, including incompatibilities.

Section 8—Exposure controls/Personal protection:  OSHA’s permissible exposure limits (PELs), threshold limit values (TLVs), appropriate engineering controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE).

Section 9—Physical and chemical properties:  The chemical’s characteristics.

Section 10—Stability and reactivity:  Chemical stability and possible hazardous reactions.

Section 11—Toxicological information:  Routes of exposure (inhalation, ingestion, or absorption contact), symptoms, acute and chronic effects, and numerical measures of toxicity.

Section 12—Ecological information:  How the chemical might affect the environment and the duration of the effect.

Section 13—Disposal considerations—describes safe handling of wastes and methods of disposal, including the disposal of any contaminated packaging.

Section 14—Transportation information—includes packing, marking, and labeling requirements for hazardous chemical shipments.

Section 15—Regulatory information—indicates regulations that apply to chemical.

Section 16—Other information—includes date of preparation or last revision.