OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard: Get Ready For The Change!



The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has just recently published a new Proposed Rule -- “Update to the Hazard Communication Standard.” The associated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be published in March of 2019. The abstract provides as follows:

OSHA and other U.S. agencies have been involved in a long-term project to negotiate a globally harmonized approach to classifying chemical hazard, and providing labels and safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals. The result is the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The GHS was adopted by the United Nations, with an international goal of as many countries as possible adopting it by 2008. OSHA incorporated the GHS into the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) in March 2012 to specify requirements for hazard classification and to standardize label components and information on safety data sheets, which will improve employee protection and facilitate international trade. However, the GHS is a living document and has been updated several times since OSHA’s rulemaking. OSHA's rulemaking was based on the third edition of the GHS and the UN recently completed the seventh. OSHA is conducting rulemaking to harmonize the HCS to the latest edition of the GHS and to codify a number of enforcement policies that have been issued since the 2012 standard.

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