The MSDS HyperGlossary: HMIS

The MSDS HyperGlossary: HMIS


The Hazardous Materials Identification System, HMIS®, was developed by the National Paint & Coatings Association (NPCA), now known as the American Coatings Association (ACA), to help employers comply with OSHA’s Hazard Communication (HCS), 29 CFR 1910.1200.

The current HMIS® III version utilizes colored bars, numbers and symbols to convey the hazards of chemicals used in the workplace. See below for an explanation of the system.

Alas, this optional system is proprietary and the ACA has apparently awarded exclusive rights for HMIS® products and services to a handful of vendors. The implementation manual alone costs $299.00 USD; in contrast OSHA’s mandatory GHS labeling system is open and freely available – anyone can print or sell their own labels. In our opinion, the idea of charging for use of a labeling system is totally unacceptable and runs counter to the

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