Hazard Communication Standard
In order to ensure chemical safety in the workplace, information about the identities and hazards of the chemicals must be available and understandable to workers. OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires the development and dissemination of such information:
- Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import, and prepare labels and safety data sheets to convey the hazard information to their downstream customers;
- All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must have labels and safety data sheets for their exposed workers, and train them to handle the chemicals appropriately.
Major changes to the Hazard Communication Standard
- Hazard classification: Provides specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards, as well as classification of mixtures.
- Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements must also be provided.
- Safety Data Sheets: Will now have a specified 16-section format.
- Information and training: Employers are required to train workers by December 1, 2013 on the new labels elements and safety data sheets format to facilitate recognition and understanding.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the Globally Harmonized System?
Q. Why did OSHA decide to modify the Hazard Communication Standard to adopt the GHS?
Q. What is the phase-in period in the revised Hazard Communication Standard?
Q. Why must training be conducted prior to the compliance effective date?
Q. What are the major changes to the Hazard Communication Standard?
Q. What Hazard Communication Standard provisions are unchanged in the revised HCS?
Q. How will chemical hazard evaluation change under the revised Hazard Communication Standard?
Q. How will labels change under the revised Hazard Communication Standard?
Q. What pictograms are required in the revised Hazard Communication Standard? What hazard does each identify?
Q. Can I use a black border on pictograms for domestic shipment?
Q. Will OSHA allow blank red borders?
Q. When must label information be updated?
Q. How will workplace labeling provisions be changing under the revised Hazard Communication Standard?
Q. How is the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) changing under the revised Hazard Communication Standard?
Q. Will TLVs be required on the Safety Data Sheet (SDS)?
Q. May the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) lists be used to make carcinogen classifications?
Q. Will the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP) classifications be required on the Safety Data Sheet (SDS)?
Q. How has OSHA addressed hazards covered under the current Hazard Communication Standard that have not been addressed by the GHS?
Q. How has OSHA addressed pyrophoric gases, simple asphyxiants, and combustible dust?
Q: How many businesses and workers would be affected by the revised Hazard Communication Standard?
Q: What are the estimated overall costs for industry to comply with the revised Hazard Communication Standard?
Q: What are the estimated benefits attributable to the revised Hazard Communication Standard?
Q. I understand that the United Nations revises the GHS every two years. How will OSHA manage and communicate changes to the Hazard Communication Standard?
OSHA's Complete Set of Question and Answers
Provisional agenda and addendum for the twenty-fourth session
Stakeholder meeting: Preparations for the 24rd Session of the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)
DATE: November 28, 2012, beginning at 2:00 p.m., in Washington, DC.
ADDRESS: The location for the public meeting is as follows: The U.S. Department of Labor, Francis Perkins Building, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210, Room C5320, Conference Room #6.
Fedeal Register Notice [PDF*]