Online Training Course Tackles OSHA's Updated Chemical Safety Data Sheet Rules

October 2, 2012

3 Min Read
Online Training Course Tackles OSHA's Updated Chemical Safety Data Sheet Rules

MSDSonline, the leading provider of sustainable cloud-based EH&S solutions, announced the launch of a new online workplace training course entitled "Safety Data Sheets."

Geared toward employees exposed to hazardous chemicals in the workplace, the course explores in depth each of the 16 sections that make up OSHA's new styled safety data sheet (SDS) in the GHS format.

"Safety Data Sheets" is the second in a series of three GHS compliance training courses being developed by MSDSonline. It follows MSDSonline's best-selling online training course, "Hazard Communication 2012," which was released in May 2012 and covers OSHA's recently updated Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The third course, to be released soon, will provide a comprehensive exploration of chemical product labeling requirements under GHS.

Updated courses are needed because in May of 2012, OSHA enacted a major revision to its Hazard Communication Standard, based on guidance from the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. One of the chief revisions to the standard pertains to material safety data sheet requirements. For instance, in the revised HCS, the term MSDS has been modified to Safety Data Sheet or SDS.

"This new SDS course is a perfect complement to our Hazard Communication 2012 course,” said PJ Schoeny, product manager for the MSDSonline workplace training solutions. “Together, these courses can help safety managers satisfy OSHA's employee training requirement on the new HazCom standard. It may seem like December 1, 2013, OSHA's first deadline for HazCom 2012 training, is a long way off, but it will be here before we know it. Training employees now will provide them with a more thorough understanding of the HazCom 2012 changes, which they will need in order work safely during the transition."

Regarding the name change from MSDS to SDS, Schoeny cautions, "It's important to note that the overall purpose of the document remains unchanged - a safety data sheet still provides product-specific safety and handling information on hazardous chemicals in the workplace. The format has just been updated to a consistent 16-section structure, following guidelines set out by GHS."

Information about the "Safety Data Sheets" training course is available at,
along with a complete listing of all of MSDSonline's workplace safety courses.

Topics covered in the new "Safety Data Sheets" course include:

• Detailed Hazard Definitions for new Physical and Health Hazards
• Interactive "SDS Lookup" Exercises
• GHS Pictogram Mix & Match
• Comprehensive Knowledge Challenges

MSDSonline encourages employers to begin training employees on updates to safety data sheets immediately. In fact, many of its customers are reporting that the proliferation of the new SDSs into the workplace has already begun. Furthermore, MSDSonline flags GHS formatted documents in its database (which contains millions of safety data sheets) and can confirm a significant uptick in recent months in the number of SDSs in the GHS format.

GHS was created by the United Nations via committees that included a broad coalition of countries, including the U.S. The aim of GHS is to harmonize the major hazard communication standards employed around the world into one complimentary system.

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