> >In addition to Monona‰??s valid observations, I think it is useful to remember just where the system came from.
Also, I‰??d to spare a thought for those of us who started on the chemical safety information adventure in the 1980‰??s, when MSDS were required, but scarce and blank.
The first regulatory step was to decide which 50 or so MSDS‰??s were worth photocopying in the hundreds to distribute paper notebooks to labs in hopes of providing some useful information to workers there. For specific risk assessments, we worked with the Merck Index, the Chemical Dictionary and the $600 three volume of Sigma Aldrich safety data (about 50 pounds of paper) to generate answers to chemical specific questions. And you haven‰??t faced a training challenge until you try to explain the HazComm standard to a mixed group of MDs and lab researchers without the help of an overarching system to organize the presentation around. The 2014 challenge of introducing GHS to the academic lab audience was much more pleasant for all.
So while GHS does present its challenges, it has gone a long way towards the quite ambitious goal of mixing hazard identification and communication, risk assessment, control banding of management practices, and emergency prepardeness into a single source. I‰??m not sure that we would have the popularity of the RAMP paradigm today without the GHS foundation to build one.
With this in mind, my thanks to everyone who contributed to this week‰??s critical dicussion of today‰??s chemical safety information landscape!
Ralph Stuart, CIH, CCHO
Environmental Safety Manager
Keene State College
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