US Dept of Labor

Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationWe Can Help

Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.1200

January 15, 1986

Mr. Warren Podolske
President
Milwaukee Metal Products Company
8000 W. Florist Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53218

Dear Mr. Podolske:

President Reagan has asked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to respond to your letter of November 8, 1985, concerning the coverage of steel, aluminum, and other metals under the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). Please accept my apology for the delay in response.

The HCS requires that manufacturers perform a hazard determination on products they sell. As part of the evaluation the manufacturer must anticipate the uses to which product will normally be put. Both physical and health characteristics must be considered during the hazard determination procedure.

If through this evaluation (see 29 CFR 1910.1200(d)) it is determined that a product does contain hazardous chemicals which may be released during its use, then the product is covered by the HCS and proper labels and MSDS must be transmitted. If this is not the case, however, the product may meet the standard's definition of an article: "a manufactured item: (i) which is formed to a specific shape or design during manufacture; (ii) which has end use function(s) dependent in whole or in part upon its shape or design during end use; and (iii) which does not release, or otherwise result in exposure to, a hazardous chemical under normal conditions of use."

The HCS does not apply to products that meet the definition of an article. A hazard determination must be performed to establish this, however.

It is not OSHA's intent that all materials require material safety data sheets (MSDSs) and labels; rather, only those that are hazardous and present a possibility of employee exposure to the hazard.

Please feel free to contact us if further assistance is needed.

Sincerely,



John B. Miles, Jr., Director
Directorate of Field Operations




November 8, 1985

The President
White House
Washington, D. C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

The OSHA Communication Std. 1910.1200 is being interpreted as classifying steel, aluminum and other metals as "Hazardous Chemicals".

Accordingly, safety data sheets must be sent by us to each customer with each order of stampings or fabrications.

We are a job shop which basically shears, punches and forms these materials to our customer's specifications. We are also familiar with procedures for handling hazardous chemicals such as 1,1,1- trichloroethane in degreasers.

However, to include steel and aluminum fabrications under this category rather than isolating the very rare procedures that might create a hazard is a criminal waste of taxpayers money for both the administration of the standard and the increased cost of the product.

Even a cursory investigation by your staff should indicate the major amendments common sense would dictate.

We have always complied with every real health and safety regulation to the best of our ability and knowledge, but we feel that this present standard is not going to protect anyone - rather the voluminous reports will bury the now important safety data sheets coming in.

Please give this important matter your earliest possible attention.

Very truly yours,

MILWAUKEE METAL PRODUCTS COMPANY



By Warren Podolske, President


Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor's Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.

Close