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Why does my non hazardous cleaner now have Caution labels all over it?

Posted by Linda Chambers on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Well you can thank the new OSHA GHS labeling system for that.


When we were using the HMIS labels and a MSDS, for an ingredient to be considered a hazard, a hazardous ingredient had to make up more than 5% of the product. With the GHS labels and new SDS's that amount has been lowered down to 1% to be deemed harmful. The temperature level for what is considered flammable was also lowered.

Therefore many products with certain dye colors, now have to be listed as having carcinogens, may cause cancer. Many other small amount ingredients have to show that they are Corrosive because they will cause burning to the eyes if exposed due to splashing.

The same item you bought at the first of the year with a HMIS label of 1,0,1 may now have to have a 2,1,1 rating.

Nothing has changed but the percentage that reporting must start and the ranking of the hazard. For instance that small amount of ethyl alcohol in a product that before was not even listed on the MSDS and carried no flammable rating, all of a sudden is on the SDS and may make the product flammable enough to rate it a 1.

And do not think customers are not going to notice all the red border warning labels showing up on the side of the products you are using. You need to be informed and prepared to be able to defend what you are using. It is not fair that the bleach you buy that is for industrial use is going to have the Exploding Chest symbol on it but that same bottle if sold in the grocery store will not.

OSHA is only able to demand things in the name of protecting the working sector, not the home consumer. What a double standard our government is creating.

But don't panic at all of it yet. At least for now just because the hazards for products are increasing the DOT hazardous classifications have not changed and even though a product may have health hazard labels all over it, it will still ship DOT non hazardous like it always has, at least for now. Unfortunately if a product was already DOT hazardous it will still be.

Be prepared and keep updating your SDS binders, it is going to be a long next six months.

Tags: OSHA, MSDS, SDS, DOT hazardous, GHS

Are you ready for December 1st & OSHA HAZCom SHS requirement?

Posted by Linda Chambers on Wed, Nov 20, 2013 @ 01:05 PM

As of December 1, 2013 you need to have given and completed with all your employees training about the new Safety Date Sheet (SHS) requirements. Not to will make you non compliant and you could face fines.

OSHA has been sending out information about this first deadline for GHS (Global Harmonization System) for quite some time but many small business owners and contractors still have no idea what this is, why it is needed and what they have to do. There are many companies that are charging businesses for this training at various price levels but all this information is also free. 

To first understand what exactly must be complete by 12/1/13 you can read the OSHA fact sheet; 

If you have never gone and looked at the OSHA web site before, you need to check it out and bookmark it on your computer,

Here they answer many frequently asked questions in regards to the new changes. 

There are free quick cards available to print out for use in training: 

Along with a sample new SDS to use in training

This current requirement of training should not take more than 30-60 minutes for most businesses to give to their employees but with all OSHA training more time is required of the business owner to document all steps that are taken for training; what supplies, print outs or manual was used in the training, details of the time and place of training. A list of all of the participants with their signatures next to their name acknowledging they attended training and a short test page, usually multiple choice, showing the employee understood, by passing the test, the training they received. 

This is why many businesses just pay for training, they do not want to bother or take the time to do these above steps themselves. 

But at this late date, if you have done nothing by now, what can you do to be done in time? 

First be sure you are currently in compliance with the old MSDS training and OSHA rules; that you gave each employee upon hire and annually MSDS training. That you have MSDS books or binders in all locations OSHA required i.e. at your office/location where the chemicals are received, handled, stored or distributed. A duplicate MSDS binder anywhere off site where employees would come in contact with chemicals ex: on your vehicles, wash rigs/trailers. If you have never done this, now is the time while OSHA is taking a hard look at all business due to the HCS deadline. 

Here are the steps you need to do:

  • Obtain and understand the OSHA rule (29CFR1910.1200)
  • Read and understand the requirements you must follow
  • Assign someone responsible for tasks, such as an HAZCOM Coordinator
  • Prepare an inventory of all chemicals used in your business

Then the important tasks that effect your employees

  • Ensure all containers are properly labeled
  • Obtain SHS for each chemical
  • Prepare a Hazardous Communication written program
  • Make SHSs available to workers via a book or binder
  • Conduct training for workers upon hire, annually and with any change


  • Establish procedures to maintain the current program
  • Establish procedures to evaluate effectiveness of all steps 

There are many companies that have created and uploaded to the web, slide shares and Youtube videos of their GHS training. So feel free to take a look at them. 

Slide Share videos

OSHA GHS training (this one is free)


ClickSafety is very inexpensive for on line training  

I hope this helps get you moving toward HAZCom compliance.











The Importance of MSDS's.

Posted by Linda Chambers on Mon, Nov 01, 2010 @ 11:21 AM

I have touched on this topic before but I plan to take this month, November, to emphasize the importance of the Material Safety Data Sheet.

In fact I will be making available a whitepaper "How to read a MSDS." that we have put together for free just by registering and requesting a copy.

Any company or business that uses or carries chemicals, hazardous or not, should be familiarwith MSDS's and the information they hold. If exposure to any chemical occurs it is important to know if prompt medical action is necessary, and if it is to be able to provide the medical professionals with the information that they need to treat the exposure.

You must truly understand the importance of carrying MSDS in a safe, protected and easily accessible place. This includes company vehicles carrying the chemicals to and from job sites that these chemicals are being used to perform daily jobs.

Many do not realize if the DOT (Department of Transportation) or police officer stops you for a traffic infraction, routine inspection or because of a traffic accident and MSDS's cannot be produced for the chemicals you carry, your vehicle can be impounded and substantial fines can be made against you and your business.

But even more serious could be the life or death importance that any delay in supplying a health provider with information may cause. 

"Time can be the difference between a routine treatment and serious complications, even death."

Part of your employee training should include where to find and how to use MSDS's. MSDS's should be kept in a single binder in plastic sheet protectors stored in a manner that they can be found and reaily accessed at any time. Duplicate copies of this binder should be in every vehicle or location these chemicals are transported or stored.

We will also be sending out Daily Tips this month to our FaceBook and Twitter accounts dealing with MSDS's and safety. I hope you will read and use them.



Tags: Special offer, MSDS, chemical safety

Why you need to have MSDS books.

Posted by Linda Chambers on Thu, Sep 17, 2009 @ 09:00 AM

Well September is here and with it the last quarter of the year. Now is a good time to look and see what business goals you set back at the first of the year still have to be done, evaluate things you have tried this year so far to see if you want to continue with them next year or put on the front burner things you still need to do before this year runs out.

So far we have done all the major products we had planned like putting out a monthly newsletter, writing in this blog at least once a month, trade shows and new advertising campaigns in new channels. But even I still have some things that got pushed aside that I need to get done and marked off my to do list.

One big one is to contact every customer to make sure they have a copy of an MSDS for every product they have purchased from us. This one item is very important for you, for your business and for your employees if you have them. This needs to be done and checked at least once a year. So very soon you will be getting either an email or letter in the mail with a list of the MSDS's you should have on hand especially if you still have the product at your house, on your truck or rig.

MSDS's are always sent out by us the first time you buy a new product, when the product contains Hydrofluoric acid or when it is requested by you, our customer. You can get a needed copy by calling 800-762-7911, emailing us or downloading it from the website.

By law (OSHA either federal or state) you need to have a book made up of all MSDS for every product you use routinely in your work, that you or employees can be exposed to. So many more products than just ours should be in there. They need to be cataloged in alphabetical order; by letter tabs are even better, you should probably have more than one MSDS book in your possession. The first should be at your home or office where the bulk of your chemicals are delivered and stored. Other copies should be carried out on the road with you in your truck or on your rig itself. And if you have more than one truck or rig, one for every one of those as well. It is also best for at least the ones on the road to be kept in a waterproof binder with the pages inserted in plastic page covers so dirt and water will not mess them up. If you do not have these books in place yet, this is a great time of year to get them at the lowest possible cost, while back to school supply sales are happening.

If you do not know what is found in an MSDS, or all the sections of an MSDS, now would be a great time to learn. You can go here to learn everything you need to know about an MSDS, like why you should have them, what are the different sections of an MSDS so you know where to look if the situation comes up and you need it.

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During an emergency is not the time to wonder if the health cautions or first aid directions are found in section III or VII! Plus if you ever get asked for your MSDS by OSHA, the DOT, a police officer or even a customer to prove what is or is not in a product you are using at their home, this will help your business look professional and possibly not be fined for not having them.

The most frightening calls I have gotten are when customers call us frantic with an injured employee and they do not know where an MSDS is or they did not keep the MSDS we sent them and that employee needs immediate emergency care. I hope you never have a need to open your MSDS books but it sure is important that they are there if you ever do.

Tags: OSHA, business plan, MSDS

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