OSHA Proposes Hazard Communication Update


The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a proposed rule earlier this month to update the agency’s Hazard Communication Standard to align with the seventh revision of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.

“OSHA expects the HCS update will increase worker protections and reduce the incidence of chemical-related occupational illnesses and injuries by further improving the information on the labels and Safety Data Sheets for hazardous chemicals,” the Administration said.

“Proposed modifications will also address issues since implementation of the 2012 standard, and improve alignment with other federal agencies and Canada."

In March 2012, OSHA published its final rule on sweeping changes to the HCS for the General, Construction, and Maritime Industries. The rule became effective May 25, 2012, and was fully implemented on June 1, 2016.

Those updates were the initial effort to align with the GHS, which at the time was being implemented throughout the world, including in Canada, China, Australia, Japan and the European Union.

In the United States, the HCS revisions included updated criteria for the classification of chemical hazards, revised labeling provisions, a specified format for safety data sheets and revisions to definitions and terms used in the standard.

Now, OSHA projects that the main effect of the standard would improve the dissemination of hazard information so that employees are more appropriately aware of exposure to chemical hazards in the workplace.

OSHA is accepting comments on the proposal until April 19.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Department of Labor; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Hazard Communication Standard (HCS); Health & Safety; Health and safety; Latin America; North America; OSHA; OSHA; Regulations; Safety; Z-Continents

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