The New York State Laborers' Union represents over 40,000 members employed in the construction industry and other fields throughout the state.
Our members are organized into more than 24 local unions and 5 district councils. We are a proud affiliate of the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA).
To better protect workers from hazardous chemicals, OSHA has updated the requirements for labeling of hazardous chemicals under its Hazard Communications Standard, aligning it with the United Nations’ Global Chemical Labeling System. The new standard, once implemented, will prevent an estimated 43 deaths and result in an estimated $475.2 million in enhanced productivity for U.S. businesses each year.
As of June 1, 2015, all labels will be required to have pictograms, a signal word, hazard and precautionary statement, the product identifier, and supplier identification. Each pictogram consists of a symbol on a white background framed within a red border and represents a distinct hazard(s). The pictogram on the label is determined by the chemical hazard classification. The NYS Health and Safety Fund is currently working on a Safety Training Video on this topic to help educate members.
Two significant changes contained in the revised standard require the use of new labeling elements and a standardized format for Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), formerly known as, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs).
By December 1, 2013 all laborers must have been trained on the new label elements and the SDS format. This training is recommended early in the transition process since workers are already beginning to see the new labels and SDSs on the chemicals in their workplace.
The new label elements and SDS requirements will improve worker understanding of the hazards associated with the chemicals in their workplace.