OSHA yesterday released the final rule revising its Hazard Communication Standard, to align with the United Nations global chemical labeling system.
The changes to the existing Hazard Communication Standard will enable it to conform with the U.N.s Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.
According to OSHA, the standard will be fully implemented in 2016 and will benefit workers by reducing confusion about chemical hazards in the workplace, facilitating safety training and improving understanding of hazards, especially for low literacy workers. OSHAs standard will classify chemicals according to their health and physical hazards, and establish consistent labels and safety data sheets for all chemicals made in the United States and imported from abroad.
During the transition period to the effective completion dates noted in the standard, chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers may comply with either the final standard, the current standard or both. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Labor.
The final rule revising the standard is available at http://s.dol.gov/P1, and will be published in the Federal Register on March 26. More information, including the phase-in schedule, can be found on OSHAs hazard communication safety and health topics web page.