Friday, April 6, 2012

Final Rule Published in the Federal Register

The long awaited major change to the 29 CFR 1910.1200 OSHA Hazard Communication Standard has arrived. It was approved by the OMB and has been put in the Federal Register.

In this final rule, OSHA is modifying its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to conform to the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). OSHA has determined that the modifications will significantly reduce costs and burdens while also improving the quality and consistency of information provided to employers and employees regarding chemical hazards and associated protective measures. Consistent with the requirements of Executive Order 13563, which calls for assessment and, where appropriate, modification and improvement of existing rules, the Agency has concluded 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 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, and requirements for employee training on labels and safety data sheets. OSHA is also modifying provisions 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. The consequences of these modifications will be to improve safety, to facilitate global harmonization of standards, and to produce hundreds of millions of dollars in annual savings.

In an attempt to help employers comply with this newly revised Hazard Communication Standard, NSC has produced 3 new DVD Training Programs: Hazard Communication Safety, GHS-Safety Data Sheets Training, & GHS-Chemical Labels Training. These have been packaged together for significant savings.