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NGFA, AFIA release hazard communication compliance guide

The NGFA and AFIA have released a hazard communication compliance guide for consideration and use by grain handling, feed, ingredient and processing facilities.

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) have released a hazard communication compliance guide for consideration and use by grain handling, feed, ingredient and processing facilities.

With a June 1 implementation deadline approaching for compliance with major elements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s recently revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), the associations created the document to ensure the industry is prepared for updated compliance requirements.

“With a deadline around the corner, it was important that we develop a document to guide our industry through the impending changes,” said NGFA President Randy Gordon. “Information from the document can be taken and customized by facility managers to develop a hazard communication program tailored for their specific facilities — whether they be grain handling, feed, ingredient or processing facilities.”

The primary implication of the new standard is that shipped raw grains and oilseeds, as well as some feeds and ingredients, now must comply with OSHA’s requirement to issue a revised safety data sheet (SDS), formerly known as a material safety data sheet. For this reason, the guide provides sample SDS language, explains labeling requirements, summarizes the changes, and answers frequently asked questions on:

  • Combustible dust
  • SDS and labeling requirements
  • Transportation
  • Bulk or bagged feed sold to feed dealers of farms
  • EPA requirements

“This guide was designed for our members – and those in our industry – to fully prepare for the challenges of implementing OSHA’s new communication standard,” said AFIA President and CEO Joel G. Newman. “We understand the pace of progress has changed, and AFIA will continue to work with other industry leaders to ensure up-to-date resources are always available.”

AFIA and NGFA developed the documents in conjunction with the Corn Refiners Association and the North American Millers Association.


The newly revised standard, updated by OSHA to conform to the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized Standard for Classification of Chemicals, requires chemical manufacturers and importers to evaluate the chemicals they produce or import, and provide hazard information to employers and workers by putting labels on containers and preparing SDSs. The modified standard provides a single set of harmonized criteria for classifying chemicals according to their health and physical hazards, and specifies hazard communication elements for labeling and SDS. Major changes to the standard that are the primary focuses of the guidance include:

  • Hazard classification: Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to determine the hazards of the chemicals. Hazard classification under the new, updated standard provides specific criteria to address health and physical hazards, as well as classification of chemical mixtures.
  • Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers must provide labels that include signal words, pictograms, hazard statements, and precautionary statements for each hazard class and category.
  • Safety Data Sheets: The new format requires 16 specific sections. As of June 1, the standard requires the SDSs to be sent using the new uniform format.
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