Global Harmonization Training Deadline Reminder Bookmark and Share

December 9, 2013

Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

Department of Labor’s training program in use throughout the country

AUGUSTA—The Maine Department of Labor reminds employers that the deadline set by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) for businesses to train their staff in the Global Harmonization System (GHS) of chemical labeling was Dec. 1, 2013. However, there is still time for employers to ensure that they meet these chemical labeling educational requirements.

To make safety training easily available to all Maine employees and employers, the state labor department produced a 23-minute video explaining the new Global Harmonization System. In addition to the video, the department’s SafetyWorks! website offers a PowerPoint presentation and a quiz for employee training and a sample policy, label and poster for businesses.

The department has also added a description of the pictograms that are used to illustrate the different dangers chemicals may pose to workers’ health and safety. These descriptions make the program more accessible for people with visual impairments. Maine’s training program is the first to include these descriptions.

Employers can use the video and materials for free.

“A number of states, including Illinois and North Carolina, have directed their residents to the Maine training program, and the U.S. Army is also using it to train both military and civilian workers,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “By creating a training video and putting it online for free, employers can have their employees take the training wherever it is most convenient—at work, at home, a CareerCenter or even the local library.”

Employers will need to keep records to prove upon an OSHA inspection that their staff have taken the required training. The materials that the Department of Labor has provided online will help employers meet OSHA’s training requirements.

The video was produced with funding from Maine’s Department of Administrative and Financial Services’ Risk Management Division and can be accessed via a link from the SafetyWorks! website, to the Maine Community College System website .

SafetyWorks! can provide free training on-site for a single employer or in centralized locations for multiple employers. It provides more than 100 safety and health courses each year. Courses include fall protection, confined spaces, forklift operation, scaffolding, electrical hazards, ergonomics and ladder safety.

Employers interested in learning more about SafetyWorks! should contact SafetyWorks! at 1-877-SAFE 345 (1-877-723-3345) or .

SafetyWorks! is not OSHA and cannot issue fines or citations to private businesses. While SafetyWorks! helps businesses of any size, priority is given to small businesses. The program trains about 8,000 people and consults at nearly 1,000 worksites in Maine each year.