March 26, 2012 – Beginning in the latter half of 2012, Ecolab will begin to deliver the first of more than 12,000 products that will be classified and labeled according to updated rules published by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on Monday, March 26.
OSHA’s updated rules reflect the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) developed by the United Nations to bring global standardization to hazard labeling and communication. Globally harmonized rules are expected to promote safety in the handling of chemicals and lower barriers to trade.
The rule modifications will result in changes in the way hazards are communicated on Ecolab’s product labels, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and marketing materials, according to Steve Christenson, vice president, Global Regulatory Affairs. Pictograms and cautionary language will be used to reflect various hazards.
“In some cases, the new icons and language may require that our customers and their employees handle our products differently than in the past,” said Christenson. “Our product formulations will not change, but the way they are classified and labeled may change, potentially prompting the need to handle our products differently.
“We recognize that these changes could easily surprise and confuse our customers and their employees,” Christenson said. “As a company, we are committed to helping our customers understand the updated rules and what they need to do to handle our products safely. Our field and technical service representatives will be prepared and available to provide support as customers make the necessary transitions.
“Ecolab customers and their employees must understand any updated hazard and safety requirements as soon as they begin receiving products,” Christenson said. By the end of 2013, they will need to have trained their employees in the new standard. The updated rules call for full compliance by 2015.
Customers who have questions about the updated rules and what they will mean to their operations should contact their Ecolab field or technical service representative. To learn more about GHS, visit OSHA’s website
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