New Chems Labeling Rule Set for June

Posted May 4, 2015 at 2:51 pm

Reminder: OSHA has revised its requirements for the labeling of hazardous chemicals under its Hazard Communications Standard (HCS). That means that, effective June 1, the agency will require all labels to have:

  • pictograms
  • a signal word
  • hazard and precautionary statements
  • the product identifier and
  • supplier identification

Click here to see a sample HCS label that identifies the required label elements. The label may also include supplemental information as needed, according to OSHA. To learn more, go to

The changes are part of OSHA’s Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) standard. In 2012, to help ensure safe handling of chemicals, the U.S. Dept. of Labor revised its 1983 Hazard Communications Standard (HCS) and aligned it with the United Nations global chemical communications system. Their goal was to implement a uniform program for the labeling and documentation of chemicals.

The standard is designed to improve communication of safety concerns, as well as handling instructions. As David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health says, the 1983 standard was designed to give employees the “right to know” what chemicals were in their midst. The 2012 update gave them the “right to understand” these potential risks as well.