DuraLabel Label Printers & Supplies

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Friday, May 25, 2012

OSHA-GHS to alter labeling language slightly

GHS has been big news in the U.S. lately, but the ripple effect of this recent implementation is still uncovering additional changes. Within the pages of the newly revised Hazard Communication Standards’ (HCS), OSHA proposed alterations to the workplace safety sign and label language. 

OSHA already has requirements for labeling and signage at many substance-specific regulated areas. However, the language used on these signs varies greatly. The proposed modifications would change the language on certain labels and signs so they are more consistent. 

This final rule change focuses only on cancer-causing substances. The table below provides an example of how confusing the current required language can be for specific carcinogens.

Carcinogen Standard Current Statement
Inorganic Arsenic 29 CFR 1910.1018 "Cancer Hazard"
Vinyl Chloride 29 CFR 1910.1017 "Cancer-Suspect Agent"
MDA 29 CFR 1910.1050 "May Cause Cancer"

Keep in mind, these statements do not imply a higher risk level and should not suggest their are different tiers of cancer warnings. Still, it would be easy for a reader to misunderstand this, if care was not taken when developing a label for these substances.

Always write label information simply and clearly to reduce confusion. OSHA has decided to use the words May Cause Cancer, which will become the standard wording for carcinogen safety labels and signs.

Table XIII-4. Regulated Areas in Substance-Specific Health Hazards summarizes the changes to the warning message for each substance. Employers have until June 1, 2016 to use the current sign language. Existing substance-specific label warnings may be used until June 1, 2015.

Is your facility ready for GHS? Save money and time by updating your facility now. DuraLabel has everything you need to integrate the new GHS changes into your facility labeling - simply and accurately. Our GHS design-ready software makes it a snap! Call us today at 1-800-788-5572 to find out how we can help you stay ahead of the GHS curve.


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