OSHA Issues Guides on New HazCom Standard
17 June 2013
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced March 1 it has published two guidance documents on its new hazard communication standard for chemicals. The agency released a two-page fact sheet on the training requirements for the standard. Employers must train their workers on the new label elements and safety data sheet format by Dec. 1, 2013. OSHA also issued a nine-page "OSHA Brief" for chemical receivers, chemical purchasers, and trainers. It explains the new labeling elements and what should go on the labels, as well as describing what pictograms are and how to use them.
OSHA issued a final rule in March 2012 that aligned the hazard communication standard with the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. The rule changed OSHA's criteria for classifying physical and health hazards, adopted standardized labeling requirements, and required a standardized order of information on safety data sheets. Employers must comply with the entire rule by June 1, 2016 (77 Fed. Reg. 17,574; 42 OSHR 265, 3/22/12).
The agency has previously issued a handful of other guidance documents on the transition to GHS, which are collected in an online index on hazard communication.