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Compliance News Volume X, Issue III


In its March 20, 2012 press release and conference call, OSHA announced revisions to its Hazard Communication Standard to align it with the United Nations’ global chemical labeling system, known as the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. OSHA stated that this change is intended to improve understanding and “will improve the quality, consistency and clarity of hazard information that workers receive, making it safer for workers to do their jobs and easier for employers to stay competitive in the global marketplace.”

According to OSHA, the standard will classify chemicals according to their health and physical hazards, and establish consistent labels and safety data sheets for all chemicals both made in the USA and imported from abroad.

Employers have until December 2013 to train employees to the new requirements. The new standard, informally known as HazCom 2012, will be fully implemented by 2016. OSHA noted that during the transition period to the effective completion dates noted in the standard, chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers may comply with either 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1910.1200 (the final standard), the current standard or both.