Affects nearly every industry in the commonwealth
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 23, 2013) – The Kentucky Labor Cabinet reminds employers that by Dec. 1, all employees who could be exposed to or handle chemicals 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 (GHS). The system is an international approach to hazard communication involving businesses that regularly handle, store and use hazardous chemicals.
“This affects nearly every industry in the commonwealth,” said Kentucky Labor Cabinet Secretary Larry Roberts. “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 Labor Cabinet’s Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health (KY OSH) Program revised its Hazard Communication Standard last year, aligning it with the United Nations’ global chemical labeling system. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates the revised standard, which Kentucky adopted, will prevent about 40 deaths and 585 injuries and illnesses a year in the United States.
“Exposure to hazardous chemicals is one of the most serious risks facing workers in the Commonwealth today,” Roberts said. “This is an important safety issue, and it’s the law that employers train the employees who are and might be around chemicals, so that they have the information they need to protect themselves.”
Employers who do not train the appropriate employees could face citations and monetary penalties. For a fact sheet on the OSHA requirements, click here.
The Kentucky Labor Cabinet offers free training about GHS requirements and other technical training courses. Click here to learn more and to submit a training request form. Because of high demand, the Labor Cabinet may not be able to fulfill every request.
The Kentucky Labor Cabinet offers free online training about GHS requirements and various other topics at www.laborcabinetetrain.ky.gov.
The KY OSH Program, under the statutory authority of Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) Chapter 338 and through a state plan approved by OSHA, exercises jurisdiction for enforcement, on-site consultation, standards promulgation, and training services related to workplace safety and health.