OSHA Modifies Hazard Communication Standard


News from the ADA



Massachusetts Dental Society

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Minor Impact on Dental Offices

OSHA has made changes in the Hazard Communication Standard that requires chemical manufacturers to put standardized labels on their products and to provide standardized Safety Data Sheets (formerly called a material safety data sheet, or MSDS) to purchasers, such as dental offices.

For the dental office, this change means training employees on the new Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and labels. Training should include reviewing the new SDS format/elements, which include new pictograms, hazard statements, precautionary statements, and signal words.

Training staff on the new SDS format and product labels should be completed by December 1, 2013. You can do this easily on your own; you do not need to hire anyone and no class is required. This early training will ensure that staff understand how to interpret the SDS and access the information effectively. Additional information can be found at:


Hazard Communication Standard Pictogram

As of June 1, 2015, the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires pictograms on labels to alert users of the chemical hazards to which they may be exposed. Each pictogram consists of a symbol on a white background framed within a red border and represents a distinct hazard(s). The pictogram on the label is determined by the chemical hazard classification.


Below are the pictograms users will need to be aware of. You can also download a printable OSHA Pictogram Quickcard.


View SDS and Pictograms

Health Hazard

Health Pictogram
  • Carcinogen
  • Mutagenicity
  • Reproductive Toxicity
  • Respiratory Sensitizer
  • Target Organ Toxicity
  • Aspiration Toxicity


Health Pictogram
  • Flammables
  • Pyrophorics
  • Self-Heating
  • Emits Flammable Gas
  • Self-Reactives
  • Organic Peroxides

Exclamation Mark

Health Pictogram
  • Irritant (Skin and Eye)
  • Skin Sensitizer
  • Acute Toxicity
  • Narcotic Effects
  • Respiratory Tract Irritant
  • Hazardous to Ozone Layer (Non-Mandatory)

Gas Cylinder

Health Pictogram
  • Gases Under Pressure


Health Pictogram
  • Skin Corrosion/Burns
  • Eye Damage
  • Corrosive to Metals

Exploding Bomb

Health Pictogram
  • Explosives
  • Self-Reactives
  • Organic Peroxides

Flame Over Circle

Health Pictogram
  • Oxidizers


Health Pictogram
  • Aquatic Toxicity 
  • (Non-Mandatory)

Skull and Crossbones

Health Pictogram
  • Acute Toxicity (fatal or toxic)