In the October 2013 issue, Flexible Packaging provided a detailed run-down of how the new Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) regulations are affecting the printing ink, graphic arts and flexible packaging industries. The cover story highlighted topics such as OSHA enforcement in the printing industry; hazard communication implementation of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS); revisions made to the OSHA standard; labeling requirements; rulemaking on combustible dust and recordkeeping.
Recently, printing ink manufacturers and other industry-related officials were given another chance to receive some helpful insight on the requirements, resources, skills and methods necessary for developing safety data sheets that comply with OSHA/GHS standards.
This information was presented in a two-part webinar sponsored by the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM). Denise Deeds, senior consultant at Industrial Health and Safety Consultants, Inc., was the presenter of the webinar titled, “Developing Safety Data Sheets That Meet the OSHA 2012 HazCom Standard Requirements.”
“Safety data sheets (SDS) are an important element of a safe and healthy work environment for our members and their employees and provide workers, customers and first responders with key information for the safe handling, storing and disposing of a wide range of materials,” says George Fuchs, NAPIM’s director of regulatory affairs and technology. The webinar served to provide a wide range of skills, knowledge and procedures for attendees to learn how to efficiently prepare their own SDS sheets that meet OSHA requirements, Fuchs says.
The first installment, which took place last month on Jan. 14, 2014, started off by providing attendees with an overview and background on what GHS is and how it has been integrated into the OSHA hazard communication standards. The second part of the webinar, which was held on Feb. 11, focused on practical demonstrations and applications for mixtures; examples of how to properly perform classifications and labeling; and how to author safety data sheets. 
The ultimate goal of GHS is to harmonize the classification and hazard communication elements for chemicals, regardless of where they are being used throughout the world.  For chemical manufacturers and importers, one of the most important benefits of GHS is that it reduces the need for duplicative testing and classification of chemicals.


Although the goal of GHS is still in the process of being accomplished, Deed says that it is going to take a fairly long time, due to the various sectors and control hazard communications for different types of chemicals in the US and internationally. In addition, the process of revising standards and regulations takes time, she says. However, numerous countries and regions including the US, Brazil, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea and South Korea, have already adopted GHS. Canada, which is in the process of implementing the system, expects to have finalized regulations out some time this year.
Also covered were the regulations related to labeling and classifications of hazardous materials. With the first parts of the new regulation having gone into effect on Dec.1, 2013, manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers are now required to revise all their SDSs and labels by June 1, 2015. 
The steps involved in effectively developing the new version of an SDS and label include: 
  • Classifying the product
  • Determining labeling based on classification
  • Determining what ingredients must be listed
  • Detailing the classification
  • Adding the labeling
  • Completing the rest of the SDS that is consistent with classification and labeling
Revisions made to the OSHA standard were also covered in the webinar, such as:
  • Adding, rewording and removing definitions to align with the newly implemented GHS terminology
  • Eliminating the “one study rule” and “floor” for hazardous chemicals 
  • Having a set number of health and physical hazard classes
Additional topics that were covered in the webinar include:
  • Criteria for flammable liquids and carcinogens
  • Mixture classification
  • Mixture rules health hazards
  • Acute toxicity calculations
  • Examples of hazard labeling
  • Accidental release measures
  • Information needed for classification
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