June 1st 2015 marked the GHS deadline for MSDSs to be converted to GHS compliant SDSs. Although the deadline has passed, many companies have yet to convert their current MSDS. In a memorandum published in February 2015, OSHA had stated that by showing “Good Faith” to meet this deadline, companies could avoid citations. This allowed many companies to put their conversion projects on hold.
What needs to be understood is by missing deadlines, the overall effect of GHS is delayed. Defining past deadlines and future deadlines will better show the “domino effect” of missing GHS deadlines.
The first GHS deadline was December 1st 2013, by which employers were required to train their employees on the new SDS format and labels. As workers are a main beneficiary of compliant SDSs, their understanding of the documents is imperative to keep them safe. By missing this deadline and not providing adequate training for employees, having a converted SDS does not improve safety in the workplace.
The most recently passed deadline, June 1st 2015, was the deadline for all MSDSs to be converted to GHS compliant SDSs. Missing this deadline has caused delays downstream in the supply chain. The next upcoming deadline is December 1st 2015 for distributors to no longer be able to ship out products with old labels. Manufacturers who missed the June 1st 2015 deadline will cause distributors to miss the December 1st 2015 deadline as a chain reaction.
GHS was developed by the United Nations to improve upon worker safety and standardize world wide how workers use hazardous chemicals. By missing deadlines, companies are denying their employees the benefits of GHS.
As the world is all connected in one way or another, we must all do our part to make it a safer place. To companies still using MSDSs, let’s work together in helping you protect your employees. Convert with Quantum today!