A proposed rule to align the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) with provisions of the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) will be published in the September 30 Federal Register.
The current HCS requires chemical manufacturers and importers to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import and provide information to subsequent users. The current standard requires all employers to have a hazard communication program for workers exposed to hazardous chemicals. The program includes materials such as container labels, safety data sheets and employee training.
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“The proposal to align the hazard communication standard with the GHS will improve the consistency and effectiveness of hazard communications and reduce chemical-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities,” said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab. “Following the GHS approach will increase workplace safety, facilitate international trade in chemicals, and generate cost savings from production efficiencies for firms that manufacture and use hazardous chemicals.”