• Region II

Survey Finds Half of Companies Unprepared for OSHA's HCS and GHS Deadline

"If your company hasn't completed OSHA's GHS requirements outlined under the revised Hazard Communications Standard (HCS), you're not alone.

In a recent study conducted by Actio Software Corporation, 50 percent of environmental, health and safety (EH&S) professionals who participated in an online survey indicated that their company has not completed the obligations outlined under OSHA's HCS alignment with the GHS. The survey, which was completed by 108 participants in April 2016, was designed to gain a better understanding of the readiness (or lack thereof) of organizational alignment with OSHA's HCS and the GHS.

Of the 50 percent of participants who claimed their company has not yet completed the GHS requirements, 48 percent estimate that it will take their company at least another 120 days to complete OSHA's HCS obligations. With the fourth and final GHS deadline now a recent memory, it's safe to say that the current number of GHS-compliant companies in the United States is far below what the administration envisioned when it decided to align the HCS with the GHS in March 2012.

The GHS Domino Effect

The fact that so many companies are now behind the proverbial GHS eight ball doesn't come as much of a surprise. Last year, despite a clearly stated June 1, 2015, deadline, many chemical manufacturers missed a key GHS deadline to comply with the new GHS format. It required them to update safety data sheets (SDSs) and labels by reclassifying chemicals according to the new GHS format. The failure to meet the June 1, 2015, deadline created a snowball effect that hindered downstream users from securing, and producing GHS-compliant SDSs and labels."

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