In March 2012, OSHA released a new hazard communcation standard (HazCom 2012) that affects chemical manufacturers, importers and anyone who works in and around chemical storage facilities. The updated standard was designed to provide one single, consistent set of criteria for classifying materials, and requires specific communication elements for labels and safety data sheets. The new standard includes universal icons for communicating information about hazardous materials (see the HazCom 2012 Pictograms here).
As a result of the modifcation to the standard, OSHA anticipates a significant reduction in injuries and fatalities related to hazardous materials handling and storage.
Major changes included modifications to:
Safety Data Sheets
Information and training
The HazCom 2012 standard will be fully implemented by 2016. For employers, the first HazCom 2012 deadline is coming up on December 1, 2013. By that date, employers must implement training on the new label elements and SDS format. June 1, 2016 is the deadline for employers to update labeling and hazard communication programs.
Details on the changes, a full schedule of the OSHA requirements for implementing the new standard, and more info about who is affected can be found in the OSHA HCS Fact Sheet.