Ebola  concerns

Recent concerns have arisen with the few cases of Ebola in the US and how that will, or may, affect the attitude of funeral directors and embalmers in regards to the safety of their own selves and the public. The CDC has recently posted guidelines for funeral homes to consider for workplace safety:

Compliance Insights


On March 20, 2012, OSHA released its Final Rule revising the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (1910.1200). It includes portions of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) that are appropriate to OSHA's regulatory sector, which is workplace safety and health, and retains portions of the existing OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (and the Minnesota Employee Right-to-Know Act) regulating employee exposure to hazardous and toxic chemicals. This revision also includes revisions to substances specific to OSHA standards, such as the Formaldehyde Standard (1910.1048).

The revised OSHA Hazard Coummunication Standard was published as a Final Rule in the Federal Resigstrar on March 26, 2012. By its terms, the Final Rule will be in effect immediately, with full compliance and enforcement by June 2015. All employees who are exposed to hazardous chemicals are to be made aware of impending changes by means of training.

In general, the major areas of change to the current Hazard Communication Standard are in the hazard classification, labeling and safety data sheets. The definition of "hazard" has been changed in the revised standard to provide specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards as well as classification of mixtures. These specific criteria are designed to help ensure that evaluations of the hazardous effects are consistern across manufacturers and that laves and safety data sheets are more accretes as a result. As an example, hazards are broken down by class, such as carcinogenicity. That class would then be further subdivided into categories of the hazard, such as known carcinogens and suspected human carcinogens, as examples.

As to labeling, chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word such as "Danger", a pictogram with a specific required design and content, and a hazard statement for each hazard class and category, Precautionary statements must also be provided on the labels by the manufacturer. 

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) formerly known as MSDS, have been given a new specified format which must be followed by the manufacturer. Information of immediate concern to employees, including identification of the product, hazard identification, composition/information on ingredients, and first aid measures must come, in that order, at the beginning of the SDS to give adequate, immediate notice to employees of the extent of the hazard of the chemical. The SDS will now have 16 categories of required information about the chemical hazard. Dodge Chemical Company posts MSDS from other countries which have the Globally Harmonized System of the SDS is in effect currently: