The biggest change in OSHA currently is the transition to the new Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for Hazard Communication. This change involves how hazardous materials are labeled and is being implemented currently. The new law requires employers to train on the new system by 12/1/13, but they may continue to use the current system until 6/1/16. This will be a transitional period, but there are certain aspects that are already being put into place. The purpose of this new system is to standardize the definition and classification of hazardous materials on labels and safety data sheets. These new labels will provide more information with the hopes of providing a safer workplace and providing the infrastructure for the establishment of an international chemical safety program. There are many reasons for this new program, one of which is the inability of one country to identify and regulate all hazardous chemicals. For example, the United States alone recognizes an estimated 650,000 chemical products currently in use.
This new labeling system, though the biggest change, is not the only change affecting this industry. With these changes OSHA will be stepping up their inspections and the only way to be prepared and compliant is by completing your required annual training.. There are constant changes in infection control, work practice controls, engineering controls and other areas that can impact day to day dentistry for better or worse. I would've happy to help your practice get up to speed on all of these changes. Call me anytime to set up your training today. As always, I look forward to any questions or comments on OSHA or anything else. Go Cats!