- Standard Number:
OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.
June 29, 2015
Mr. Jim McLarty
PLZ Aeroscience Corporation
1000 Integram Drive
Pacific, MO 63069
Dear Mr. McLarty:
Thank you for your January 13, 2014, letter to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Directorate of Enforcement Programs. Your questions concern the labeling requirements under the revised Hazard Communication standard (HCS 2012), 29 CFR 1910.1200. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation only of the requirements herein, and may not be applicable to any questions not delineated within your original correspondence. Your paraphrased questions and our responses are below.
Background: In an effort to avoid the economic hardship of additional flame projection and drum testing, the PLZ Aeroscience Corporation would like to label its aerosol products with the HCS 2012 default statement "Extremely flammable" within a border on the back panel of the product. The company would leave the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) "flammable" statement that was obtained by the CPSC standard flame extension test on the front of the label as part of the CPSC principle hazard statement. However, there are differences between the CPSC classification requirements and the HCS 2012 hazard classification criteria, which could result in conflicting warning information on these product labels.
Question 1: Can PLZ proceed to use labels on aerosol products with the CPSC flammability statements on the front and the HCS 2012 statements within a border on the back of the aerosol product?
Response: OSHA exempts products from HCS labeling when they are subject to a consumer product safety standard or labeling requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Act and the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. See 29 CFR 1910.1200(b)(5)(v). Generally, if a label meets the exemptions described in this paragraph of the HCS, then the employer must follow CPSC's label requirements.
Question 2: For aerosol products, is there a need to change the CPSC-required label statement from "Flammable" to the HCS 2012 hazard statement "Extremely Flammable"?
Response: Any questions PLZ may have with regards to the CPSC label requirements, other than the exceptions stated in HCS 2012, must be addressed to the CPSC. OSHA cannot make requirements on label information under the regulatory responsibility of the CPSC or other agencies. OSHA reminds PLZ that the full hazard statement of "Extremely flammable aerosol" must be used on HCS 2012 labels, unless the product is exempt from HCS labeling because it is subject to another federal agency's labeling requirements as provided in 29 CFR 1910.1200(b)(5). No abbreviations or omissions are permitted, unless the chemical manufacturer, importer, or responsible party can demonstrate that all or part of the hazard statement is inappropriate to a specific substance or mixture (see Appendix C.2.2.2 of 1910.1200). The CPSC can be contacted at:
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
4330 East West Highway
Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: (301) 504-7923
Fax: (301) 504-0124 and (301) 504-0025
Question 3: How can the use of available flame extension, flash point, and heat of combustion information be used to determine the appropriate flammability statement for HCS 2012?
Response: Although flammability testing is allowed, OSHA does not require testing. However, should testing be conducted, the HCS identifies scientifically-validated test methods for the flammable aerosol hazard classification. See Appendix B.3.3 of the HCS. It is up to the manufacturer or importer to determine how best to use the relevant data and information to ascertain the hazard(s) associated with a chemical, and then to compare the information to the classification criteria to determine the appropriate hazard statement(s). If the aerosol is classified to meet HCS 2012 requirements, please use the data mentioned in the standard, such as heat of combustion and flammable components (see Appendix B.3 Flammable Aerosols). Flame extension and flash point data are not needed to determine the classification for flammable aerosols. Please also refer to the GHS version 3 for additional guidance on classifying physical hazards, Chapter 2.3.
Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. OSHA's requirements are set by statute, standards, and regulations. Our letters of interpretation do not create new or additional requirements but rather explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. From time to time, letters are affected when the Agency updates a standard, a legal decision impacts a standard, or changes in technology affect the interpretation. To assure that you are using the correct information and guidance, please consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Health Enforcement at (202) 693-2190.
Thomas Galassi, Director
Directorate of Enforcement Programs