All districts and schools must train staff in Global Harmonization System

Department of Labor responds to federal mandate with free online training video

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’s) new Global Harmonization System Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) by Dec. 1. As part of this federal mandate, schools and districts are responsible for training their staff on GHS and must be able to demonstrate compliance upon inspection.

In order to make safety training accessible to all Maine employees and employers, the Maine Department of Labor (DOL) has produced a video explaining the new system. In addition to the video, the DOL’s SafetyWorks! website offers a PowerPoint presentation, quiz for employee training and a sample policy and poster for businesses. All resources are provided at no cost by the State.

“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.”

Schools and districts will need to keep records to prove upon an OSHA inspection that their staff have completed the required training. The materials that the DOL has provided online will help employers meet OSHA’s training requirements.

OSHA adopted the GHS, which is now part of the OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.1200, the Hazardous Communication Standard, in 2012. 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 training video was produced with funding from Maine’s Department of Administrative and Financial Services’ Risk Management Division and is available online at: A closed-caption version of the training video will be available on the same website by the end of August.

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

One thought on “All districts and schools must train staff in Global Harmonization System

  1. This training course is aimed at the worker or handler of hazardous chemicals as well as introduces them general awareness training program under OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200. The learners will leave the classroom with the general awareness of Globally Harmonized System (GHS) and how to apply it in their work place.

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