Safety

Getting a jump on GHS HazCom changes

OSHA Healthcare Connection, August 7, 2012

The revision of the Hazard Communication Standard to include the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals was six years in coming, but you don't get that much time to adapt to the change.

OSHA expects to prevent roughly 585 injuries and illnesses each year after the adoption of the revision, which was approved March 2012. While full implementation of the revised standard is expected by 2016, employers have until December 2013 to train employees on the system's new requirements.

Healthcare facilities are one of the primary businesses affected by the revision of the Hazard Communication Standard, which has been troublesome even before this change. OSHA lists it as the third most frequently cited standard from October 2010 to September 2011. Switching to the new GHS system should ultimately make it easier for healthcare facilities to protect employees who regularly work with hazardous chemicals.

Source: Excerpted from Medical Environment Update, August 2012.

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