Creating appropriate GHS chemical labels can help manufacturers comply with the latest regulations and improve safety in hazardous workplaces. A recent article in DentistryIQ described some of the most important implications for dentists in the wake of upcoming deadlines. Kimberly Bland, President of the American Dental Assistant's Association, said in this source that dental offices have until June 1, 2016 to transition to the updated health standards.
Among the other steps Bland recommends is revising workplace labels to meet the pictograms laid out in the HazCom 2012 changes. Since these images are standardized, getting the details right is important for accuracy and government approval.
"This is the time at which all employers must have completed the update for the alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program as necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards," Bland said of the June 1 deadline. Last June saw a similar deadline for manufacturers to verify compliant labels.
To further prepare for compliance, here are some quick guidelines for manufacturers to follow:
- Specify chemical categories: Some substances, including medications, will not be covered under GHS because of other existing checks.
- Synchronize all aspects of labels: The GHS has already called not just for adequate pictograms, but a "harmonized signal word" as specified in this document from the Health Industry Distributors Association.
- Use different labels for transport: Chemicals intended for transportation may require different frames and backgrounds for their labels, depending on where the chemicals will be shipped.
Since this standard is intended to promote consistent images, companies can purchase GHS labeling printers like the VIPColor VP495 for in-house support. This printer in particular can produce drum and barcode labels as well as general GHS-compliant material.