Saturday, May 11, 2013

SDS, not MSDS - This is the path we chose.

These times they are a changin'.  If you haven't noticed, or been given notice, the same old way of tracking hazardous materials around your shop has changed.  Changed for the better, too.  Just like the CocaCola advertizements from the 70's (We'd like to teach the World to sing, in perfect harmony . . . .), we really did get the world to put aside their petty differences and agree on something that was good for everyone.  Congresses and Parliaments around the world could learn from this!

Introducing GHS - Globally Harmonized System - brought to you from your friends at the International Standards Organization (ISO) with help from the Unitedd Nations (UN).  What we once referred-to a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) are now called just SDS (Safety Data Sheet).

OSHA is on-board with this initiative, too, and they have declared that all employers must train their employees about the new standard by December 1, 2013 in order to be in compliance with their revised Hazard Communication standard.  This means training on the new / revised labeling requirements, signal words, and pictograms (icons).  Before this standard was adopted it was frequently  difficult to locate all the pertinent information you might need in an emergency - the new format strives to simplify this and make all the forms more consistent.

ISHN magazine (Industrial Safety and Hygiene News), has put together an overview of the GHS requirements that you can download from their web site for free.  You do have to sign-up for their free magazine, but that is a worthwhile read in itself, so no inconvenience there at all.  Click on over to:

Here are some more resources to get you oriented to this new way of thinking:

OSHA's GHS Web Site with a complete indexed version of the GHS Purple Book:  Yes, make that a permanent Bookmark in your web browser!

GHS 101: Safety Data Sheets (SDS) from (I guess they may have to change their web name now!):

HCS Labeling and HazCom 2012 Guide By DuraLabel

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