Participate in our Employee Benefits Survey, and you’ll receive the full report free! Start the survey here.

The Maine Department of Labor (DOL) has partnered with the Maine Community College System to develop materials to be used for training on the Global Harmonization System, new Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) standards that have been developed for classification and labeling of chemicals and safety data sheets.

These training materials and a sample policy can be found at the Maine SafetyWorks! Web site, where you can find other sample safety programs as well at www.safetyworksmaine.com/

For more information on this training, which employers must provide by December 1, 2013 for employees who have exposure to hazardous chemicals, see the recent DOL press release below.

Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, julie.rabinowitz@maine.gov, 207-621-5009 

(AUGUSTA) All employees in the state of Maine—in both the private and public sectors—must be trained in the federal Occupation Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new Global Harmonization System (GHS) by December 1, 2013.

In order to make safety training accessible to all Maine employees and employers, the Maine Department of Labor has produced a 23-minute video explaining the new Global Harmonization System. In addition to the video, the department’s SafetyWorks! Web site offers a PowerPoint presentation and a quiz for employee training and a sample policy and poster for businesses. Employers can use the video and materials free.

“Complying with these federal training requirements could have been a costly undertaking for many small businesses and even larger employers,” 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.

OSHA adopted the Global Harmonization System (GHS) in 2012, which is now part of the OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.1200, the Hazardous Communication Standard. This training does not replace the normal Hazardous Chemical Training, which is still required.

The new system has a standardized Safety Data Sheet; it will replace the existing Material Safety Data Sheets and provide pictograms of the associated hazards. The GHS also provides a new labeling system with specific language pertaining to the chemical.

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! Web site, http://www.safetyworksmaine.com/

A closed-caption version of the training video will be available at the same links by the end of August.

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 http://www.safetyworksmaine.com/.

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.