The Epson team recently attended a conference focused on GHS regulations organized by the International Fragrance Association of North America (IFRA). The day-long event included presentations, Q&A’s and regulatory overviews and updates. There were also quite a few impassioned and valuable discussions surrounding the state of OSHA’s GHS implementation in North America. Across the regulatory spectrum, experts were on hand to discuss everything from mixture classifications to variations under OSHA’s 1994 federal mandate and deviations from Europe’s GHS regulation: the classification, labeling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP).
From a labeling standpoint, the workshop touched on several topics that are likely going to have more than chemical manufacturers re-assessing their labeling and packaging operations. GHS is synonymous with the chemical industry and rightfully so, but the lesser known and potentially problematic reality is that many consumer-facing sectors – for example cleaning supplies, paints, pesticides and fragrance products – will be responsible for updates under OSHA’s revised hazard communication standard, the primary mandate outlining and enforcing GHS requirements in the United States.
In addition, Epson and a team of industry experts led a panel discussion on comprehensive GHS solutions for companies looking to successfully shift their operations toward compliance. Some of the timely issues raised here included the challenge of compliance labeling with varying label, package and container sizes. In the U.S., pictogram and label size requirements have yet to be defined, making the use of pre-printed materials a more pronounced inefficiency! Other factors like international shipping, where additional languages or GHS hazard symbols are required only further complicate the process.
OSHA’s June 2015 deadline for implementation will ultimately increase worker safety and expand international commerce for a variety of industries. But for companies on the clock, integrating these processes will come with a lot of growing pains. Label variability, complexity and durability will play a major role here and can send supply chain operations down a dark path if businesses don’t consider the right technological solution.
What can start off as a translation or regulatory update can become a headache that ends with a stockroom full of obsolete or inaccurate pre-printed label inventory. Our solutions reduce this inventory down to the minimum – blank stock – and deliver the ink quality and label durability to meet international shipping requirements like British Standard BS 5609. From specialty chemicals companies to major chemical distributors, Epson’s Just-In-Time Color™ labeling solutions simplify GHS labeling production into a single-step, on demand flexible process.
For a comprehensive look at GHS requirements take a look at Epson’s Q&A with Chem.Info or contact me at the email address located in the sidebar of this blog.