Tricks Of The Trade: Complying With OSHA HazCom

By B. Kevin Folsom, CEP
Published in the November/December 2014 issue

Q Does the OSHA website provide all the information you need to know to comply with its new MSDS requirements? I have had trouble finding the information on the website. The site says they are changing the way it will be done, but not what to do or how to comply.

Ken Schauer
Facilities Manager
Issaquah, WA

All questions to Folsom have been submitted via the “Ask The Expert” link.

AIn late 2013, when OSHA rolled out the new SDS (formerly known as MSDS and Material Safety Data Sheets)—with a deadline of December 1, 2013 to have all employees trained on the new labeling system—it was difficult to find out what all the changes were. Today, information is readily available and easy to find.

The changes pertain mostly to labels and formatting of the document so that our Hazard Communication Standard aligns with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. OSHA claims that these changes not only give “the employee the right to know,” but now also “the right to understand.”

You can find everything you want to know by following this link to the OSHA website. [An article in the May 2013 issue of the magazine (“Chemical Safety Changes”) also covered this topic.]

Folsom is the director of campus operations at Trinity Christian Academy in Addison, TX. Previously, he was director of facilities & plant operations, and energy procurement & efficiency at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, TX, where he worked for 25 years. He is the recipient of numerous awards from the associations of Higher Education Facility Officers and Energy Engineers for facility and energy management practices, industry leadership and involvement, and writing.


  1. I agree that OSHA did a poor job telling employers how to comply with their revised Haz-Com standard. But that is to be expected, as they are bureaucrats who write OSHA regulations. We have made available to employers free resources to comply with the OSHA GHS training requirements on our website at . There you will find free toolbox talks, free online training tutorials on labels and SDS’s, and more.

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