By Edwin S. Hopson
The Kentucky Labor Cabinet has issued a reminder to all Kentucky employers that by December 1, 2013, all employees who could be exposed to chemicals in the workplace are required by law to be trained on the label elements and safety data sheet format of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.
The system is an international approach to hazard communication involving businesses that regularly handle, store and use hazardous chemicals.
In a press release, Labor Cabinet Secretary Larry Roberts, stated: “[t]his affects nearly every industry in the Commonwealth. If there are chemicals in the workplace, it’s almost certain that employees in that workplace will need to be trained under these new requirements by Dec. 1. Those employees have the right to know and understand these hazards and the precautions they need to take.”
The Kentucky OSH Program revised its Hazard Communication Standard in 2012, aligning it with federal OSHA’s standard. This change also aligns the standard with the United Nations’ global chemical labeling system.
Federal OSHA has also set a December 1 deadline by which time the Hazard Communication training must be completed.
Employers who do not train the appropriate employees could face citations and monetary penalties.
For a fact sheet on the OSHA requirements see: