There is an old adage: “You don’t know, what you don’t know”…And you may not know: Federal OSHA law mandates that you have an additional training module added to your list of OSHA requirements that deal with “international chemical safety in the workplace”.
The fancy name for this is Global Harmonization System (GHS) and it was required for all employees (full-time, part-time and even receptionists) as of December 1, 2013. GHS is the result of the Earth Summit, a meeting of international minds to help standardize chemical safety guidelines for all workplaces around the world. The GHS Standard is new to the USA but has been in full operation in Europe, Canada and several United Nations for the past 8 years. It deals with making the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) of the USA to a standardized format, called Safety Data Sheets (SDS). These are to be hosted in a cloud library for easy access by all employees. The requirement is 24-hour access in case of a reaction to chemicals previously used in the workplace. Additionally, the Hazard Rating Labels of the USA turn into “pictograms”. Small universal symbols that convey chemical dangers when handling substances at work.
The most important thing for dental offices to be aware of is to get the required training under your belt ASAP if you have not yet completed this within your office. (It was due in place by December 1, 2013!). Choose a comprehensive program that gives you: Employee Training, Proof-of-GHS-Training Certificate, New OSHA Manual (written to this GHS Standard) and all updated Employee Paperwork. The GHS Complete Package is a favorite amongst dental professionals and it comes with a 30-minute navigational session of the materials with an OSHA/GHS Expert. This will help you “know what you need to know”. Get smart. Get GHS comprehensive training and “git er done!”
Written by Jill Obrochta & Heather Whitt of Dental Enhancements.