OSHA Proposes to Revise HazCom

OSHA is proposing to modify its existing Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to conform with the United Nations’ (UN) Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). OSHA has made a preliminary determination that the proposed modifications will improve the quality and consistency of information provided to employers and employees regarding chemical hazards and associated protective measures.

The agency anticipates this improved information will enhance the effectiveness of the HCS in ensuring that employees are apprised of the chemical hazards to which they may be exposed, and in reducing the incidence of chemical-related occupational illnesses and injuries.

The proposed modifications to the standard include:

  • Revised criteria for classification of chemical hazards;
  • Revised labeling provisions that include requirements for use of standardized signal words, pictograms, hazard statements, and precautionary statements;
  • A specified format for safety data sheets; and
  • Related revisions to definitions of terms used in the standard, requirements for employee training on labels and safety data sheets.

OSHA is also proposing to modify provisions of a number of other standards, including standards for flammable and combustible liquids, process safety management, and most substance-specific health standards, to ensure consistency with the modified HCS requirements.

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