To help employers deal with the dwindling time period before the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) deadline for training workers on its new hazard communication standards, consulting firm Environmental Resource Center® (http://www.ercweb.com/home) has created PDF and customizable PowerPoint presentations that businesses can use in house.
"OSHA revised its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to reflect the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, the international standard for hazard communications," said Brian Karnofsky, company president. "That means companies in the United States have to modify virtually every chemical label, Safety Data Sheet and written hazard communication plan to meet this new standard. In turn, employers now have to ensure that employees understand the new classification system, labels, warning statements, precautions, pictograms, and safety data sheets for chemicals at their specific worksites."
Environmental Resource Center has leveraged its experience in delivering and customizing on-site and online training for the new standards to create materials that will help workers understand the new labeling elements and safety data sheet formats. The firm is offering employers the choice of either the PDFs or the PowerPoint presentations. In either format, workers will have access to a program that covers all of OSHA's GHS training requirements in an easy-to-understand format.
The training is necessitated by the extensive mandated changes. The new hazard classifications identify several new hazards and include drastically different definitions for many of the hazard classes in the original standard. Chemical manufacturers and importers are now required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Standardized precautionary statements must also be provided on each label. Also, Safety Data Sheets, formerly called Material Safety Data Sheets, will now be in a 16-section format, with precise requirements for the type of information that must be in each section.
"Since many American and foreign chemical manufacturers have already begun to produce GHS-compliant labels and Safety Data Sheets, American workplaces will soon begin to receive those labels data sheets," said Karnofsky. "It's vital for work safety and business productivity that employees understand the new labels and SDSs when they begin to encounter them during the course of work."
Both PDF and PowerPoint presentations are available for downloading at Environmental Resource Center's website. A single copy of the training PDF costs $99. Reproductions of the presentation may not be made without authorization, but up to 10 PDFs can be purchased for at the single-copy price. Between 11 and 20 copies can be purchased for $79 each while quantities of 21 and more can be purchased for $69 per copy.
One to 10 copies of the PowerPoint presentations, complete with prompts for modifying with an employer's site-specific information, can be purchased for $199 each. Customers can purchase bundles of 11 to 20 licenses for $179 per license while 21 licenses and more are available for $169 each.
Customers also have the option of having Environmental Resource Center customize the PowerPoint for them. If the business sends the firm a written GHS hazard communication plan and 10-20 safety data sheets, the center's staff will create a custom training program for that site at a cost of $899. If a business has not updated its hazard communication plan, Environmental Resource Center will do the revision for $799. A customized PowerPoint and hazard communication plan together would cost $1,600.
Buyers can view excerpts of the PDFs at http://www.ercweb.com/products/view.aspx?id=3481 and selections from the PowerPoint presentation at http://www.ercweb.com/products/view.aspx?id=3482 in order to get an idea of what the presentations offer.
"The time and cost involved may have some dragging their feet, but businesses themselves will benefit from these changes," said Karnofsky. "According to OSHA's estimates, the GHS revisions will prevent 43 fatalities and 585 injuries and illnesses annually. The monetized value of this reduction in occupational risks is an estimated $250 million a year. In the end, these changes will be a win for everyone."