OSHA changes require employee training

The federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has updated a 30-year-old safety regulation that impacts ISU employees who work with certain chemicals, both inside and outside of labs. Those employees must participate in required training detailing the changes by Dec. 1.

What has changed?

OSHA has updated the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), which affects both the Hazard Communication Standard (Chemical Right to Know) and the Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories (Lab Standard). The changes align the United States' regulations with global standards. Specifically, the changes address:

  • Safety Data Sheets (SDS) -- New standardized information replaces the old Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
  • Chemical labels -- Chemicals and products with hazardous ingredients have new labels, which combine signal words, hazard and precautionary statements, and pictograms that represent different chemical hazards
  • Training -- Employees must be trained on the changes by Dec. 1

Who should be trained?

ISU employees who work with hazardous chemicals but do not work in labs are required to complete the "Worker Right to Know" training; lab employees must complete the "Core Concepts" training.

Both courses are available online and must be completed by Dec. 1. However, the Iowa Division of Labor could cite ISU departments if employees are not trained by Dec. 1. Staff from Environmental Health and Safety will work with departments to ensure all employees receive the proper training.

There is no cost to employees for the training, which should take less than an hour to complete.

For more information about the OSHA changes or the required training, contact Jim Gunning, 4-1899.