The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a proposed rule to update the agency’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The update is intended to 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 to the standard will also address issues since implementation of the most recent revision in 2012, and improve alignment with other federal agencies and Canada, including the seventh revision of the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).
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 GHS to provide a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information.
OSHA has preliminarily determined that the proposed modifications to the HCS would enhance its effectiveness by improving dissemination of hazard information so employees are more appropriately apprised of exposure to chemical hazards in the workplace.
Individuals may read the Federal Register notice for details and submit comments on the proposed rule (Docket No. OSHA-2019-0001) electronically via the Federal e-Rulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov. The deadline for submitting comments is April 19, 2021.
Information provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and edited by Becky Schultz.