Good Reminder of Your Haz Com/GHS Obligations – Don’t Miss Them.

Hazcom Training: Don’t Panic

The deadline for covered employers to train workers on the GHS formatting passed on Dec. 1, 2013. But if you fear roving bands of OSHA inspectors banging on doors to identify GHS scofflaws, don’t hit the panic button. Just get started.
Feb. 11, 2014 By Courtney Malveaux

What Should You Do?

First of all, breathe. And get the training for your co-workers. Avoid or reduce the sting of a citation by showing good faith.

How? One quick and relatively inexpensive way is to schedule a brief training with a safety or health consultant. Anna Jolly, the owner and managing director of Circle Safety and Health Consultants in Richmond, Va., said GHS training doesn’t have to be daunting.

“A lot of employers don’t understand that they are included if they use any chemicals, including gasoline for tools and equipment,” said Jolly. “Knowing you have to get it done is the most important step. If the employer has a hazard communication program already in place, we can get its employees up to speed within two hours. The training is important so that employees will understand the pictograms and warnings of the new system as chemical manufactures update their materials.”

You also can conduct your own training using videos and materials offered online, such as those provided by the National Safety Council. OSHA’s website includes helpful information such as QuickCards, its GHS fact sheet, its Hazard Communications page and its brief on GHS-compliant labels and pictograms.  (CONTINUE READING AT EHS TODAY).

About mavity2012

I am a Senior Partner operating out of the Atlanta office of Fisher & Phillips LLP, one of the Nation’s oldest and largest management employment and labor firms. My practice is national and keeps me on the road or in one of our 28 offices about 50 percent of the time. I created and co-chair the Firm's Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group. I have almost 29 years of experience as a labor lawyer, but rely even more heavily on the experience I gained in working in my family's various businesses, and through dealing with practical client issues. Employers tell me that they seldom meet an attorney who delivers on his promise to provide practical guidance and to be a business partner. As a result, some executives probably use different terms than “practical” to describe my fellow travelers in the profession. I don't enjoy the luxury of being impractical because I spend much of my time on shop floors and construction sites dealing with safety, union and related issues which are driven by real world processes and the need to protect and get the most out of one's most important business assets ... its employees. That's one of the reasons that I view safety compliance as a way to also manage problem employees, reduce litigation and develop the type of work environment that makes unions unnecessary. Starting out dealing with union-management challenges and a stint in the NLRB have better equipped me to see the interrelationship of legal and workplace factors. I am proud also of my experience at Fisher & Phillips, where providing “practical advice” is second only to legal excellence among the Firm’s values. Our website lists me as having provided counsel for over 225 occasions of union activity, guided unionized companies, and as having managed approximately 450 OSHA fatality cases in construction and general industry, ranging from dust explosions to building collapses, in virtually every state. I have coordinated complex inspections involving multi-employer sites, corporate-wide compliance, and issues involving criminal referral. As a full labor lawyer, I oversee audits of corporate labor, HR, and safety compliance. I have responded to virtually every type of day-to-day workplace inquiry, and have handled cases before the EEOC, OFCCP, NLRB, and numerous other state and federal agencies. At F & P, all of us seek to spot issues and then rely upon attorneys in the Firm who concentrate on those areas. No tunnel vision. I teach or speak around 50 times per year to business associations, bar and professional groups, and to individual businesses. I serve on safety committees at three states’ AGC Chapters, teach at the AGC ASMTC
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