[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 96 (Thursday, May 20, 2021)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-10523]
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
29 CFR Part 1910
[Docket No. OSHA-2019-0001]
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
Meilinger, Director, Office of Communications, Occupational Safety and
Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor; telephone: (202) 693-
1999; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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]
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