[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 96 (Thursday, May 20, 2021)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 27338-27340]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-10523]



Occupational Safety and Health Administration

29 CFR Part 1910

[Docket No. OSHA-2019-0001]
RIN 1218-AC93

Hazard Communication Standard

AGENCY: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

ACTION: Proposed rule; notice of informal hearing.


SUMMARY: OSHA is scheduling an informal public hearing on its proposed 
rule ``Hazard Communication Standard.'' The public hearing will begin 
September 21, 2021 at 10:00 a.m., Eastern Time (ET). The proposed rule 
was published in the Federal Register on February 16, 2021. The initial 
public comment period was to end April 19, 2021, but was extended to 
May 19, 2021, in response to requests from the public.

DATES: Informal public hearing: The hearing will begin September 21, 
2021, at 10:00 a.m., ET, and will be held virtually using WebEx. If 
necessary, the hearing will continue from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., 
ET, on subsequent days. Additional information on how to access the 
informal hearing will be posted when available at https://www.osha.gov/hazcom/rulemaking. To testify or question witnesses at the hearing, 
interested persons must electronically submit their notice by June 18, 
2021. In addition, those who request more than ten minutes for their 
presentation at the informal hearing and those who intend to submit 
documentary evidence at the hearing must submit the full text of their 
testimony, as well as a copy of any documentary evidence, no later than 
August 21, 2021.

    Notices of Intent to Appear: Notices of intent to appear at the 
hearing, along with any submissions and attachments, should be 
submitted electronically at https://www.regulations.gov, which is the 
Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online for making 
electronic submissions. After accessing ``all documents and comments'' 
in the docket (Docket No. OSHA-2019-0001), check the ``proposed rule'' 
box in the column headed ``Document Type,'' find the document posted on 
the date of publication of this hearing notice, and click the ``Comment 
Now'' link. When uploading multiple attachments to www.regulations.gov, 
please number all of your attachments because www.regulations.gov will 
not automatically number the attachments. This will be very useful in 
identifying all attachments in the preamble. For example, Attachment 
1_title of your document, Attachment 2_title of your document, 
Attachment 3_title of your document. For assistance with commenting 
and uploading documents, please see the Frequently Asked Questions on 
    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency's name and 
the docket number for this rulemaking (Docket No. OSHA-2019-0001). All 
comments, including any personal information you provide, are placed in 
the public docket without change and may be made available online at 
https://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters about 
submitting information they do not want made available to the public, 
or submitting materials that contain personal information (either about 
themselves or others), such as Social Security Numbers and birthdates.
    Docket: To read or download comments, notices of intent to appear, 
and other materials submitted in the docket, go to Docket No. OSHA-
2019-0001 at https://www.regulations.gov. All comments and submissions 
are listed in the https://www.regulations.gov index; however, some 
information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to 
read or download through that website. All comments and submissions, 
including copyrighted material, are available for inspection through 
the OSHA Docket Office.\1\

    \1\ Documents submitted to the docket by OSHA or stakeholders 
are assigned document identification numbers (Document ID) for easy 
identification and retrieval. The full Document ID is the docket 
number plus a unique four-digit code. OSHA is identifying supporting 
information in this notice by author name, publication year, and the 
last four digits of the Document ID.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For press inquiries: Contact Frank

[[Page 27339]]

Meilinger, Director, Office of Communications, Occupational Safety and 
Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor; telephone: (202) 693-
1999; email: meilinger.francis2@dol.gov.
    For general information and technical inquiries: Contact Maureen 
Ruskin, Acting Director, Directorate of Standards and Guidance, 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of 
Labor; telephone: (202) 693-1950 or fax: (202) 693-1678; email: 
    For Hearing Inquiries: Contact Janet Carter, Directorate of 
Standards and Guidance, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 
U.S. Department of Labor; telephone: (202) 693-1950; email: 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On February 16, 2021, OSHA published a 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to modify the Hazard Communication 
Standard (HCS) to align with the United Nations' Globally Harmonized 
System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) Revision 7, 
to address specific issues that have arisen since OSHA last updated the 
HCS in 2012, and to provide better alignment with other U.S. agencies 
and international trading partners, without lowering the overall 
protections of the standard.
    OSHA received comments concerning the proposed rule during the 
comment period, which ended May 19, 2021. Commenters shared information 
on a variety of topics including proposed definitions of ``release for 
shipment'' and ``immediate outer container,'' changes to paragraph 
(d)(1) ``normal conditions of use,'' and clarification of compliance 
dates. OSHA received two requests for an informal public hearing 
(Document ID 0276 and 0294).

Informal Public Hearing--Purpose, Rules and Procedures

    OSHA invites interested persons to participate in this rulemaking 
by providing oral testimony and documentary evidence at the informal 
public hearing. OSHA also welcomes presentation of data and documentary 
evidence that will provide the agency with the best available evidence 
to use in developing the final rule.
    Pursuant to 29 CFR 1911.15(a) and 5 U.S.C. 553(c), members of the 
public have an opportunity at the informal public hearing to provide 
oral testimony and evidence on issues raised by the proposal. An 
administrative law judge (ALJ) will preside over the hearing and will 
resolve any procedural matters relating to the hearing.
    OSHA's regulation governing public hearings (29 CFR 1911.15) 
establishes the purpose and procedures of informal public hearings. 
Although the presiding officer of the hearing is an ALJ and questioning 
of witnesses is allowed on crucial issues, the proceeding is largely 
informal and essentially legislative in purpose. Therefore, the hearing 
provides interested persons with an opportunity to make oral 
presentations in the absence of rigid procedures that could impede or 
protract the rulemaking process. The hearing is not an adjudicative 
proceeding subject to the Federal Rules of Evidence. Instead, it is an 
informal administrative proceeding convened for the purpose of 
gathering and clarifying information. Accordingly, questions of 
relevance, procedure, and participation generally will be resolved in 
favor of developing a clear, accurate, and complete record.
    Conduct of the hearing will conform to 29 CFR 1911.15. In addition, 
pursuant to 29 CFR 1911.4, the Acting Assistant Secretary may, on 
reasonable notice, issue additional or alternative procedures to 
expedite the proceedings, to provide greater procedural protections to 
interested persons, or to further any other good cause consistent with 
applicable law. Although the ALJ presiding over the hearing makes no 
decision or recommendation on the merits of the proposal, the ALJ has 
the responsibility and authority necessary to ensure that the hearing 
progresses at a reasonable pace and in an orderly manner. To ensure a 
full and fair hearing, the ALJ has the power to regulate the course of 
the proceedings; dispose of procedural requests, objections, and 
comparable matters; confine presentations to matters pertinent to the 
issues the proposed rule raises; use appropriate means to regulate the 
conduct of persons present at the hearing; question witnesses and 
permit others to do so; limit the time for such questioning; and leave 
the record open for a reasonable time after the hearing for the 
submission of additional data, evidence, comments, and arguments from 
those who participated in the hearing (29 CFR 1911.16).
    At the close of the hearing, there will be a post-hearing comment 
period for interested persons who filed a timely notice of intention to 
appear at the hearing, during which those persons may submit final 
briefs, arguments, summations, and additional data and information to 

Notice of Intention To Appear at the Hearing

    Interested persons who intend to participate in and provide oral 
testimony or documentary evidence at the hearing must file a written 
notice of intention to appear prior to the hearing. To testify or 
question witnesses at the hearing, interested persons must 
electronically submit their notice by June 18, 2021. The notice must 
provide the following information:
    Name, address, email address, and telephone number of each 
individual who will give oral testimony;
    Name of the establishment or organization each individual 
represents, if any;
    Occupational title and position of each individual testifying;
    Approximate amount of time required for each individual's 
    A brief statement of the position each individual will take with 
respect to the issues raised by the proposed rule; and
    A brief summary of documentary evidence each individual intends to 
present. Individuals who request more than 10 minutes to present their 
oral testimony at the hearing or who will submit documentary evidence 
at the hearing must submit the full text of their testimony and all 
documentary evidence no later than August 21, 2021.
    The agency will review each submission and determine if the 
information it contains warrants the amount of time the individual 
requested for the presentation. If OSHA believes the requested time is 
excessive, the agency will allocate an appropriate amount of time for 
the presentation. The agency also may limit to 10 minutes the 
presentation of any participant who fails to comply substantially with 
these procedural requirements, and may request that the participant 
return for questioning at a later time. Before the hearing, OSHA will 
notify participants of the time the agency will allow for their 
presentation and, if less than requested, the reasons for its decision. 
In addition, before the hearing, OSHA will provide the hearing 
procedures and hearing schedule to each participant who filed a notice 
of intention to appear. OSHA emphasizes that the hearing is open to the 
public; however, only individuals who file a notice of intention to 
appear may question witnesses and participate fully at the hearing. If 
time permits, and at the discretion of the ALJ, an individual who did 
not file a notice of intention to appear may be allowed to testify at 
the hearing, but for no more than 10 minutes.

Certification of the Hearing Record and Agency Final Determination

    Following the close of the hearing and the post-hearing comment 
periods, the ALJ will certify the record to the Assistant Secretary of 
Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. The

record will consist of all of the written comments, oral testimony, and 
documentary evidence received during the proceeding. The ALJ, however, 
will not make or recommend any decisions as to the content of the final 
standard. Following certification of the record, OSHA will review all 
the evidence received into the record and will issue the final rule 
based on the record as a whole.

Authority and Signature

    This document was prepared under the direction of James S. 
Frederick, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety 
and Health, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, 
Washington, DC 20210. It is issued under the authority of sections 4, 
6, and 8 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 
653, 655, 657); 5 U.S.C. 553; section 304, Clean Air Act Amendments of 
1990 (Pub. L. 101-549, reprinted at 29 U.S.C.A. 655 Note); section 41, 
Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (33 U.S.C. 941); section 
107, Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (40 U.S.C. 3704); 
section 1031, Housing and Community Development Act of 1992 (42 U.S.C. 
4853); section 126, Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 
1986, as amended (reprinted at 29 U.S.C.A. 655 Note); Secretary of 
Labor's Order No. 8-2020 (85 FR 58383-94); and 29 CFR part 1911.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on May 12, 2021.
James S. Frederick,
Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2021-10523 Filed 5-19-21; 8:45 am]