Roscoe Blog

OSHA Revises the Hazard Communication Standard

Jim Buik - Friday, December 06, 2013

In the largest regulation change in 20 years, OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) is further improving safety and health protections for America's workers by standardizing the classification and labeling of chemicals. The current Hazard Communication Standard is now in alignment with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), giving workers the "right to understand," replacing the "right to know."

Perhaps the biggest change is that the new standard provides a single set of harmonized criteria for classifying chemicals according to their health and physical hazards and specifies hazard communication elements for labeling and safety data sheets.

Other changes include:

  • Mandatory labels provided that include a signal word, pictogram, hazard statement and precautionary statement for each hazard class and category
  • MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) now called SDS (Safety Data Sheet) and requires 16 specific sections

Roscoe, the Chicago uniform company, is thrilled that this new law will cover over 43 million workers and is expected to prevent over 500 workplace injuries and illnesses and 43 fatalities annually, as we are committed to safety in our workplace.

In accordance with this law, the Chicago uniform company carefully documents all of the chemicals being used at our facility and by our personnel. Besides internal inspection, Roscoe is regularly audited by outside organizations to ensure we are in compliance.

We also conduct monthly training, and then re-train annually, on safety procedures such as accident reporting, blood borne pathogens, compressed gas cylinders, confined space, fall protection, lead exposure, first aid and many others. This ensures that the Team Members of this uniform rental company are properly protected and aware of the procedures in place in case of any emergency.

While being educated on safety procedures is certainly beneficial, it is also important to provide your employees with the proper resources. That could mean flame resistant garments for workers in the electric, utility, petroleum, petro-chemical and chemical industries. These flame resistant shirts, pants, and coveralls could make the difference between life-threatening injuries. This uniform rental company also provides high-visibility garments as well for workers in high-risk environments. Contact a Roscoe Representative to learn more about these garments and check out previous blog posts on high and enhanced visibility and flame resistant clothing.

Furthermore, the uniform rental company is actively pursuing SHARPS (Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program) Certification which recognizes small business employers who operate an exemplary injury and illness prevention program. This entails on-site consultation visits, correction of issues, implementing and maintaining an injury and illness prevention program, involvement of all Team Members, and lost and restricted days below industry standards. We are confident in a 2014 certification.

Find out how you can SHARPS certify your small business.

Make sure your company is up-to-date on the new rules and regulation. OSHA is allowing companies time by phasing in the specific requirements over several years (December 1, 2013 to June 1, 2016). The December 1 deadline was for training employees on the new label elements and the SDS format. Some helpful links:

This Chicago work uniform rental company is dedicated to safety!

Contact us to learn more about Roscoe: The Chicago Work Uniform Rental Company

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