The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released its new proposed rule to conform its Hazard Communication Standard(HCS) to the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals Revision 7. This rule has been created to address issues that arose during the implementation of the 2012 update to the HCS, and to better align with other U.S. agencies and international trading partners.
The 486-page proposed rule was published in the February 16, 2021 Federal Register.
Although the notice seeks public comments, OSHA has preliminarily determined that the proposed revisions will enhance the effectiveness of the HCS by ensuring employees are appropriately apprised of the chemical hazards to which they may be exposed, thus reducing the incidence of chemical-related occupational illnesses and injuries. The proposed modifications to the standard include revised criteria for classification of certain health and physical hazards, revised provisions for updating labels, new labeling provisions for small containers, technical amendments related to the contents of safety data sheets (SDSs), and related revisions to definitions of terms used in the standard.
The proposed changes include clarifying the purpose and scope of the standard, adding definitions, codifying enforcement policies currently in OSHA’s compliance directive, clarifying requirements related to the transport of hazardous chemicals, adding labeling provisions for small containers, and adopting new requirements related