Final Rule Annouced Involving Hazard Communication Standard

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a final rule from its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that will update the current Hazard Communication Standard to improve the amount and quality of information on labels and safety data sheets. Aligned with the seventh revision of the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, the updates take effect on July 19.

The updated standard will require labels on small packaging to be more comprehensive and readable and makes changes to help ensure trade secrets no longer prevent workers from receiving critical hazard information on safety data sheets.

Additionally, OSHA claims that workers will benefit from:

  • A clearer hazard classification process to provide more complete and accurate hazard information on labels and safety data sheets.
  • Updated physical hazard classes to better inform users on safe handling of explosives, aerosols, and chemicals under pressure.
  • Revised precautionary statements on how to safely handle, store, and dispose of hazardous chemicals.

“Established in 1983, the Hazard Communication Standard provides a standardized approach to workplace hazard communications associated with exposure to hazardous chemicals,” according to a press release. “OSHA updated the standard in 2012 to align with the third revision of the GHS to provide a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information. The current final rule addresses issues that arose since the implementation of the 2012 standard and improves alignment with other federal agencies and Canada.”

ISSA has stated it continues to review the new final regulation and will provide analysis to its members in the near future. More information is available for ISSA members here. For questions regarding this regulation, contact ISSA Regulatory Affairs Manager Meché Ragland at mecher@issa.com.

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