In 2016, the Global Harmonized System of chemical classification was implemented creating a uniform standard throughout the world. This resulted in some changes in the Safety Data Sheet, pictograms and product labeling.
What your store does could determine a company-specific policy and process of how employees will handle the chemicals they work with daily. Every company that handles chemicals is required to have a Hazard Communications (HazCom) Plan. Not having a HazCom plan was the number one cited finding from Labor and Industries (L&I) in 2019. This plan should be part of your Accident Prevention Program.
Hazard Communication rules were developed to make sure information about inherently hazardous chemicals is provided to employers and ultimately to employees, so they become informed about chemical hazards found in the workplace. These rules apply if you:
- Have employees with potential for exposure to hazardous chemicals at work
- Distribute hazardous chemicals to employers
- Manufacture (produce) or import hazardous chemicals
The new Safety Data Sheets contain a lot of information for a specific chemical. L&I states that it is OK to have an electronic version of the safety data sheets instead of in binders, but they must be easily accessible to all employees in any format.
Check with your suppliers to make sure you have the latest Safety Data Sheet (SDS) on hand, which could also act as a backup if your internet access gets interrupted. SAFEME has a short lesson on this topic. RS SafetyTV has various videos as well.
WR employs Rick Means as Director of Safety & Education who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-200-6454, or [email protected]