Connecticut Department of Labor
  Home About Us FAQ News and Notices Contact Us
Report a Fatality or Catastrophe Consultation Services Training and Calendar of Events Directions/Office Information


CONN-OSHA Quarterly
Volume No.73
August 2013

  • Hazard Communication Standard Regulation

  • Hazard Communication Safety Data Sheets

  • Hazard Corner ...

  • CONN-OSHA Quarterly Training Update



U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA revises Hazard Communication Standard Regulation protects workers from dangerous chemicals, helps American businesses compete worldwide

"OSHA's 1983 Hazard Communication Standard gave workers the right to know. As one participant expressed during our rulemaking process, this update will give them the right to understand, as well," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David

Michaels. WASHINGTON – To better protect workers from hazard­ous chemicals, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupa-During the transition period to the effective completion tional Safety and Health Administration has revised its dates noted in the standard, chemical manufacturers, im-Hazard Communication Standard, aligning it with the Unit-porters, distributors and employers may comply with either ed Nations' global chemical labeling system. The new 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1910.1200 (the final standard, once implemented, will prevent an estimated 43 standard), the current standard or both. deaths and result in an estimated $475.2 million in en­hanced productivity for U.S. businesses each year. The final rule revising the standard is available at "Exposure to hazardous chemicals is one of the most seri-nt?p_table=NEWS_RELEASES&p_id=22038 ous dangers facing American workers today," said Secre­tary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "Revising OSHA's Hazard Further information for workers, employers and down-Communication Standard will improve the quality, con-stream users of hazardous chemicals can be reviewed at sistency and clarity of hazard information that workers OSHA's Hazard Communication Safety and Health topics. receive, making it safer for workers to do their jobs and It includes standard and guidance materials such as easier for employers to stay competitive in the global mar-Questions and Answers, OSHA fact sheet and Quick ketplace. Cards:

The Hazard Communication Standard, being revised to Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, align with the United Nations' Globally Harmonized Sys-employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful tem of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, will be workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure fully implemented in 2016 and benefit workers by reducing these conditions for America's working men and women confusion about chemical hazards in the workplace, facili-by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, tating safety training and improving understanding of haz-education and assistance. For more information, visit ards, especially for low literacy workers. OSHA's standard will classify chemicals according to their health and physi­cal hazards, and establish consistent labels and safety data sheets for all chemicals made in the United States and imported from abroad.

The revised standard also is expected to prevent an esti­mated 585 injuries and illnesses annually. It will reduce trade barriers and result in estimated annualized benefits in productivity improvements for American businesses that regularly handle, store and use hazardous chemicals, as well as cost savings of $32.2 million for American busi­nesses that periodically update safety data sheets and labels for chemicals covered under the standard.



Hazard Communication Safety Data Sheets

The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires chemical manufacturers, distributors, or importers to provide Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) (formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets or MSDSs) to communi­cate the hazards of hazardous chemical products. As of June 1, 2015, the HCS will require new SDSs to be in a uniform format, and include the section numbers, the headings, and associated information under the head­ings below:

Section 1 Identification includes product identifier; manufacturer or distributor name, address, phone num­ber; emergency phone number; recommended use; restrictions on use.

Section 2 Hazard(s) identification includes all haz­ards regarding the chemical; required label elements.

Section 3 Composition/information on ingredients

includes information on chemical ingredients; trade se­cret claims.

Section 4 First-aid measures includes important symptoms/ effects, acute, delayed; required treatment.

Section 5 Fire-fighting measures lists suitable extin­guishing techniques, equipment, chemical hazards. 

Section 6 Accidental release measures lists emer­

gency procedures; protective equipment; proper meth­ods of containment and cleanup.

Section 7 Handling and storage lists precautions for safe handling and storage, including incompatibilities.

Section 8 Exposure controls/personal protection

lists OSHA's Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs); Threshold Limit Values (TLVs); appropriate engineering controls; personal protective equipment (PPE).

Section 9 Physical and chemical properties lists the chemical's characteristics.

Section 10 Stability and reactivity lists chemical sta­bility and possibility of hazardous reactions.

Section 11 Toxicological information includes routes of exposure; related symptoms, acute and chronic ef­fects; numerical measures of toxicity.

Sections 12-15 Refer to note

Section 12 Ecological information*

Section 13 Disposal considerations*

Section 14 Transport information*

Section 15 Regulatory information*

Section 16 Other information, includes the date of preparation or last revision.

Note: Since other Agencies regulate this information, OSHA will not be enforcing Sections 12 through 15(29 CFR 1910.1200(g)(2)).

Employers must ensure that SDSs are readily ac­cessible to employees.

See Appendix D of 1910.1200 for a detailed description of SDS contents.

For more information:

Training Requirements for the Revised Hazard Communication Standard

December 1, 2013

OSHA revised its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to align with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) and published it in the Federal Register in March 2012 (77 FR 17574). Two significant changes contained in the revised standard require the use of new labeling elements and a standardized format for Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs). To help companies comply with the re­vised standard, OSHA is phasing in the specific requirements over several years, (December 1, 2013 to June 1, 2016). 

This article details all training requirements that must be imple­mented by December 1, 2013.

By that time employers must have trained their workers on the new label elements and the SDS format. This training is need­ed early in the transition process since workers are already beginning to see the new labels and SDSs on the chemicals in their workplace. It is critical that employees understand the new label and SDS formats.

Training on label elements must include information on:

Product Identifier: how the hazardous chemical is identified. This can (but is not limited to) the chemical name, code number or batch number. The manufacturer importer of distributor can decide the appropriate product identifier. The same product identifier must be on both the label and in Section 1 of the SDS.

Signal Word: used to indicate the relative level of severity of hazard and alert the reader to a potential hazard on the label. There are only two signal words, “Danger” and “Warning”. Within a specific hazard class, “Danger” is used for the more severe hazards and “Warning” is used for the less severe haz­ards. There will only be one signal word on the label no matter how many hazards a chemical may have. If one of the hazards warrants a “Danger” signal word and another warrants the sig­nal word “Warning” then only “Danger” should appear on the label.

Pictogram: OSHA’s required pictograms must be in the shape of a square set on a point and include a black hazard symbol on a white back­ground with a red frame sufficiently wide enough to be clearly visible. A square red frame set at a point without a hazard symbol is not a pictogram and is not permitted on the label. OSHA has designated eight pictograms under this standard for application to a hazard cate­gory. They may be viewed at:

Hazard Statement(s): describe the nature of the hazard(s)
of a chemical, including, where appropriate, the degree of hazard. For example: “Causes damage to kidneys through prolonged or repeated exposure when absorbed through the skin.” All of the applicable hazard statements must appear on the label. Hazard statements may be combined where appropriate to reduce re­dundancies and improve readability. The hazard statements are specific to the hazard classification categories, and chemi­cal users should always see the same statement for the same hazards, no matter what the chemical is or who produces it.

Precautionary statement(s):
means a phrase that describes recommended measures that should be taken to minimize or prevent exposure to a hazardous chemical or improper storage or handling.

Supplier Identification:
On the label, list the supplier’s name, address, and phone number. This may be the manufacturer, distributor, or importer. See an example of supplier identifica­tion on page 2.

An employee might use the labels in the workplace for example to explain how information on the label can be used to ensure proper storage of hazardous chemicals. Or, be used to quickly locate information on first aid when needed by employees or emergency personnel.

General understanding of how the elements work together on a label. For example, explain that where a chemical has multiple hazards, different pictograms are used to identity the various hazards. The employee should expect to see the appropriate pictogram for the corresponding hazard class. However, when there are similar precautionary statements, only the one provid­ing the most protective information will be included on the label.

Training on the format of the SDS must include information on the Standardized 16-section format. Employees must know that each section will always address a certain topic. For example, Section 4 will always address First Aid measures.

OSHA requires employers to present information in a manner and language that their employees can understand. If employ­ers customarily need to communicate work instructions or other workplace information to employees in a language other than English, they will also need to provide safety and health training to employees in the same manner.  Similarly, if the employee’s vocabulary is limited, the training must account for that limita­tion. If employees are not literate, telling them to read training materials will not satisfy the employer’s training obligation.

Excerpts were taken from the OSHA Fact Sheet for this article. For the entire Fact Sheet visit;

Hazard Corner...Chemical Handling

A 56-year-old chemist working at a textile dyeing and finishing company received chemical burns on over 65% of his body when he mistakenly mixed two chemicals. A week later, he died from his injuries. The victim, who had a degree in chemistry, had worked at the company for five years and was the supervisor of the chemical area. He spoke Korean but did not speak English or Spanish. Company managers primarily spoke Korean, and most of the employees spoke Spanish. Chemical container labels were in English only.

On the day of the incident, the victim saw that a container of hy­drogen peroxide was almost empty.  Normally, this would have been filled before his shift began. The victim used a forklift to incorrectly pick up a 330 gallon container of sodium hydroxide. He drove the forklift into the chemical measuring area and raised the container over the hydrogen peroxide container. He climbed on top of the hydrogen peroxide container and opened the spigot at the base of the sodium hydroxide container to drain the con­tents.

The mixture of sodium hydroxide and hydrogen peroxide imme­diately produced a thermal reaction with a release of a mist above the lid of the chemical container. The mist immediately engulfed the victim and filled the room. A co-worker washed down the victim with a hose, but he suffered severe burns. He died one week later.

Recommendations to prevent such incidents include:

The victim was not wearing any form of personal protective equipment (PPE). The use of rubber boots, rubber apron or a rub­ber suit, rubber gloves, face shield, or approved respirator could have prevented dermal exposure and inhalation of the chemical.

Introducing and enforcing procedures could help assure the


cor­rect chemical is selected. These procedures could include a manu­al checklist to be completed during container replacement, bar­code scan of container contents, or coworker sign-off of container contents.

The employer did not have a safety and training program to ad­dress hazardous chemical handling, storage and use. There was no written evidence that the victim had received any safety train­ing prior to or during his employment. These programs and train­ing for all employees is vital. As new chemicals are introduced, employees should be informed of new risks.  

The full California FACE Report #09CA004 may be viewed at

CONN-OSHA Quarterly Training Update


  • Breakfast Roundtable This discussion group meets the third Tuesday of every month from 8:15 am to 9:45 am. Pre-registration is required. To be placed on the e-mail distribution list, contact John Able at 

OSHA Recordkeeping  September 12, 2013 or October 24, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to noon   At this workshop, you will learn how to fill out the OSHA 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses accurately.

Ergonomics & Material Handling  September 26, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to noon   This session will help attendees develop a process for recognizing and quantifying risks, creating cost-effective solutions, and documenting the effective­ness.

GHS Hazard Communication ~New London CT, October 23, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to noon   The Hazard Commu­nication Standard (HCS) is now aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemi­cals (GHS). The major changes of 29 CFR 1910.1200 are hazard classification, pictograms and safety data sheets. 

GHS Hazard Communication~Milford  CT, November 6, 2013, from 10:00 a.m. to noon   The Hazard Communica­tion Standard (HCS) is now aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The major changes of 29 CFR 1910.1200 are hazard classification, pictograms and safety data sheets. 

Powered Industrial Trucks   November 21, 2013,  from 10:00 a.m. to noon   This workshop includes the basic re­quirements of the OSHA 29 CFR 1910.178 Powered Industrial Truck Standard which affects both General Industry and Construction material handling operations.

Breakfast Roundtable   This discussion group meets the third Tuesday of every month from 8:15 am to 9:45 am.  Pre­registration is required.  To be placed on the e-mail distribution list, contact John Able at

Classes are free unless otherwise noted, held at 200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT in Conference Room A/B. To register, contact Catherine Zinsser at Pre-registration is required. A Photo I.D. is also required to allow entry into a public building. For more training information, visit the CONN-OSHA web site

Classes are free and held at 200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT in Conference Room A/B.  To register, contact John Able at or Catherine Zinsser at  Pre-registration is required. A Photo I.D. is required to allow entry into a public building. For more training information, visit the CONN-OSHA web site

To receive the Quarterly electronically, contact  In the subject line type “subscribe” and provide your e-mail address.  You may also reach us by phone at (860) 263-6900 or visit our website at   

Connecticut Department of Labor - OSHA
38 Wolcott Hill Road 
Wethersfield, CT 06109

CONN-OSHA-Quarterly Index

Last Updated: April 17, 2018

200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109 / Phone: 860-263-6000

Home | Home | Send Feedback
State of Connecticut Disclaimer and Privacy Policy. Copyright 2002 - present year