The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued a proposed rule to update the agency’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to align with the seventh revision of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).
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. Proposed modifications will also address issues since implementation of the 2012 standard, and improve alignment with other federal agencies and Canada.
Individuals may submit comments identified by Docket No. OSHA-2019-0001 electronically at the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Read the Federal Register notice for details. The deadline for submitting comments is April 19, 2021.
OSHA has preliminarily determined that the proposed modifications would enhance the effectiveness of the standard by improving dissemination of hazard information so employees are more appropriately apprised of exposure to chemical hazards in the workplace.
Established in 1983, the Hazard Communication Standard provides a standardized approach to workplace hazard communications associated with exposure to hazardous chemicals. OSHA updated the standard in 2012 to align with the third revision of the United Nations’ GHS to provide a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information.