TMC Industry Updates
March 8, 2013
News Flash! Updated FMLA Posting Requirement is March 8th
For those of you who have 50 or more employees, you need to know that the Department of Labor recently amended the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to help protect family members of current military service members and veterans. This extends the right of eligible employees to attend to personal matters and medical needs related to their family members’ service.
The effective date of the final rule is March 8, 2013 which means covered employers need to display the updated poster by that date.
TMC consultants will, as always, assist you with meeting this posting requirement when on-site.
In the interim, click here to download and print at no charge.
March 1, 2013
While we will provide further detail in a later publication on the updated requirements of a compliant agreement, please note that if a Business Associate Agreement (BAA)was not in place on January 25, 2013, a BAA must be obtained no later than September 23, 2013.
Business Associates and their subcontractors will now be held to the same standards as covered entities as it relates to enforcements and fines. HITECH requires BAs to comply with all elements of the Security Rule if applicable to the services provided, and at a minimum use and disclosure standards outlined in the Privacy Rule.
What actions need to be taken?
- Medical and dental practices ensure you have a complete listing of all service providers who qualify as a business associate.
- Business associates, begin compiling a listing of subcontractors meeting the updated definition.
Here is a sample BAA that has been provided by Health and Human Services.
January 25, 2013
Update on Regulatory Changes – HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule Is Published and the Hazard Communication Standard Update Read Article
Also check out our FREE webinar for TMC HIPAA clients on this new ruling for HIPAA
Hazard Communication Standard Updated
Reflects Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals
For several years articles have been published, blogs have been posted, conversations have occurred about GHS or Globally Harmonized System and the update of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The much anticipated update of the Standard occurred on March 26, 2012 when the US Department of Labor published the final rule. And while this rule will impact the healthcare industry, take a deep breath and relax; changes will not occur immediately.
The Globally Harmonized System (GHS), which is a United Nation’s document, is an international approach to hazard communication. These recommendations were used by OSHA to establish mandatory requirements for hazard communication. According to information found on the OSHA website the primary benefit of the update to the regulation is to provide a standardized approach to hazard classification, labels and safety data of chemicals. In simple words, a single set of criteria will be used to classify chemicals according to outlined health and physical hazards through-out the world. Additionally material safety data sheets, which will now be referred to as safety data sheets, will all follow a standardized format and labels will include, among other things, a pictogram reflecting the hazard and precautionary statements. It is believed that consistent communication of risks associated with the use of hazardous chemicals will create a safer work environment for all involved.
What Happens Now?
In order to begin the process of harmonization, chemicals must be evaluated based on specific criteria to identify health and physical hazards. Once the hazards have been identified, the chemicals will be appropriately labeled based on the updated standard and safety data sheets will be created in a consistent format. This information will be provided to customers utilizing the hazardous chemicals.
Eventually all employers having hazardous chemicals in their workplace must have the chemicals appropriately labeled and they must obtain a Safety Data Sheet for each item. Appropriate training based on the classification will be required for chemicals in use.
Out-patient facilities will notice the most change in the following two areas:
Safety Data Sheets – Previously Material Safety Data Sheets
SDS will include information on the hazards associated with a particular chemical. The new SDS will be created by the chemical manufacturer and will be supplied to users when the updates are complete. Each SDS must contain the following information in the same order for consistency and ease of use.
Section 1. Identification
Section 2. Hazard(s) identification
Section 3. Composition/information on ingredients
Section 4. First-Aid measures
Section 5. Fire-fighting measures
Section 6. Accidental release measures
Section 7. Handling and storage
Section 8. Exposure controls/personal protection
Section 9. Physical and chemical properties
Section 10. Stability and reactivity
Section 11. Toxicological information
Section 12. Ecological information
Section 13. Disposal considerations
Section 14. Transport information
Section 15. Regulatory information
Section 16. Other information, including date of preparation or last revision
As you begin to receive the updated SDS remember to archive, not discard, the outdated MSDS.* Sections 12-15 may be included in the SDS, but are not required by OSHA.
Labels will require the following elements:
- Pictogram: Symbol on a white background within a red diamond which will convey specific information about the hazard. There will be a total of eight different pictograms.
- Signal words: Single word use to relate the severity of the hazard. Danger (more severe hazard) and warning are the words which will be utilized.
- Hazard Statement: Statement describing the nature of the hazard(s) of a chemical. This may include the degree of the hazard.
- Precautionary Statement: Phrase(s) describing measures to minimize or prevent adverse effects when handling the chemical.
- December 1, 2013 – Employers must train employees on the new label elements and safety data sheet (SDS) format. Training by this date is needed as it is possible facilities will begin to receive SDS and chemicals with the updated labeling within a short time frame.
- June 1, 2016 – Workplace labeling and update of the hazardous communication plan, as well as any additional training must be completed by employers.
Yes, there are items which must change in your practice as a result of this regulatory update, but the timeline allows a very generous amount of time to come into compliance with the standard. The good news for TMC clients is that we are already working on a training plan for implementation 4th quarter 2012, well ahead of the required training deadline. We have begun planning on how to update the chemical labels, which are in place in your practice, once the information becomes available. Stay tuned, there is much more to come as details are shared on how to comply with these new regulations. TMC is your partner as you work toward compliance with the updated Hazard Communications Standard!
For TMC’s eMSDS clients: These changes to your eBinder will happen automatically as new SDS become available from your manufacturer! If you wish to learn more about TMC’s eMSDS Program, please contact our Client Services team to find out how we can make your hazard documentation a snap!