Distributors and PMPs will notice a different look to Bell's Safety Data Sheets (SDS) - if they haven't already.

The arrival of the New Year means the deadline is fast approaching in which all SDS and labels must comply with the new HazCom 2012 standards. In compliance with these new standards, Bell Laboratories released new SDSs in January 2015.

In 2012, OSHA ruled to incorporate new standards based on the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). These new standards require chemical products to display easy-to-read hazard warnings on labels and SDSs. Beginning June 1, chemical manufacturers and distributors must ensure that all chemicals include labels and SDSs that comply with OSHA's updated Hazard Communication Standard (HazCom). Because rodenticides are separately regulated by USEPA these new OSHA requirements do not apply to Bell's product labels.

In accordance with the new standards, Bells SDSs (formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets) will include associated hazards an individual might come across in handling rodenticides. While the information contained in the SDSs is mostly the same as the previous MSDSs, the new format is presented in a user-friendly, 16-section format - consistent across all Bell products.

Safety Data Sheets are vital for anyone encountering rodenticides because they provide comprehensive information about their handling and use. Bell's new SDSs include information about the physical and chemical properties of our products and any potential associated risks. Additionally, the SDSs list environmental hazards, preventative and protective measures as well as safety precautions for handling, storing and transporting rodenticides.

As Bell customers receive new SDSs in the months ahead, it is important to prepare for the transition. It is suggested that you have a system in place for incorporating new safety data sheets. For example:

Have a designated employee in charge of the transition to GHS
Make sure your employees, especially those on the front lines in procurement and the loading dock (where MSDSs are likely to first enter the facility), are on the lookout for updated SDSs
When a new safety data sheet comes in - have a system in place for comparing it to the earlier version, making note of any relevant changes
Plan/execute training
Update your MSDS library / archive old MSDS

Important HazCom Deadlines

December 1, 2013 - Employers must train employees on how to read GHS formatted labels and SDSs. Changes to labels are probably more substantial, however, employees need to understand where to find information on the SDS, especially in Section 2 where critical hazard information (Hazards Identification) is located.
June 1, 2015 - Chemical manufacturers and distributors should have completed their reclassification of chemicals and be shipping GHS formatted SDSs and labels with their shipments. By this date a majority of your library should be composed of the new SDSs.
December 1, 2015 - Distributors have an additional 6 months beyond the June 1, 2015 date to pass along manufacturer labels and SDSs in the older formats. However, beyond December 1, 2015, all SDSs and labels in the U.S. must adhere to HazCom 2012 guidelines.
June 1, 2016 - Employers should be fully compliant with HazCom 2012. Compliance includes making any necessary updates to HazCom programs, training employees on any newly identified chemical hazards, and updating safety data sheets libraries and secondary labels.
SDSs can be downloaded from Bell's website.

For more information about HazCom standards, please visit www.osha.gov.