Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)

Chapter 296-901, WAC

Effective Date: 04/15/2013

Washington State's new Hazard Communication Standard, WAC 296-901-140, is substantially identical to OSHA's rule and compliance in our state will be phased in.

Expand or collapse.See compliance schedule and more information

Implementation / Enforcement Date(s) Requirements Who
June 1, 2014 Train employees on the new label elements and safety data sheet (SDS) format. Employers
June 1, 2015 Compliance with all provisions of the WAC 296-901 final rule, except as listed below: Chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors, and employers
December 1, 2015 The Distributor must not ship containers labeled by the chemical manufacturer or importer unless it has GHS (Global Harmonization System) label. Distributors
June 1, 2016 Update alternative workplace labeling and Hazard Communication Program as necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards. Employers
Transition Period to the effective completion dates noted above.

May comply with the applicable requirements in the following rules:

Chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors, and employers


The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals has already been incorporated into federal OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard. As a result, you may see new labels on shipped containers of chemicals that display the GHS pictograms and information. Also, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) are starting to be phased out and replaced by newly required Safety Data Sheets (SDSs).  Although content details on labels and SDSs are affected by the GHS, many of the current requirements are not changing. For example, requirements to distribute SDSs, label workplace containers, and train employees will remain the same.

To learn more about GHS in Washington State, read Questions and Answers: Hazard Communication Standard.  To learn more about how GHS started, visit OSHA's webpage.

New Rule Activity Related Policies

Table of Contents

Note: The links below all point to the rule in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) Format.

296-901-140 Hazard communication.
296-901-14002 Purpose.
296-901-14004 Scope and application.
296-901-14006 Definitions.
296-901-14008 Hazard classification.
296-901-14010 Written hazard communication program.
296-901-14012 Labels and other forms of warning.
296-901-14014 Safety data sheets.
296-901-14016 Employee information and training.
296-901-14018 Trade secrets.
296-901-14020 Effective dates.
296-901-14022 Appendix A -- Health hazard criteria.
296-901-14024 Appendix B -- Physical hazard criteria.
296-901-14026 Appendix C -- Allocation of label elements.
296-901-14028 Appendix D -- Safety data sheets.
296-901-14030 Appendix E -- Definition of "trade secret."
296-901-14032 Appendix F -- Guidance for hazard classifications regarding carcinogenicity.

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