OSHA's Proposed Rulemaking to Amend the Hazard Communication Standard

U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a proposed rule to update the agency’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS).

OSHA is issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend the HCS (§ 1910.1200). OSHA is proposing to modify the HCS to maintain conformity with the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) (revision 7), align certain provisions with Canada and other U.S. agencies, and address issues that have developed since implementation of the 2012 standard.

The HCS, first finalized in 1983, provides a standardized approach to workplace hazard communications associated with exposure to hazardous chemicals. The standard was updated in 2012 to align with revision 3 of the GHS to provide a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information.

OSHA expects the proposed updates to the HCS will increase worker protections and reduce the incidence of chemical-related occupational illnesses and injuries by further improving the information on labels and safety data sheets (SDS) for hazardous chemicals. The agency has preliminarily determined that the proposed modifications would enhance the effectiveness of the standard by improving dissemination of hazard information so that employees are more appropriately apprised of the chemical hazards to which they may be exposed.

Comments to the NPRM

Individuals may submit comments, identified by Docket No. OSHA-2019-0001, electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Read the Federal Register notice for details. The deadline for submitting comments is April 19, 2021. 

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