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• Standard Number: 1910.1200(f)

November 9, 1990

Mr. John W. Boyan
Acting Director
General Services Administration,
Region 9
Western Distribution Center
(9FS) Rough and Ready Island,
Building 414
Stockton, California 95203

Dear Mr. Boyan:

Thank you for your letter of October 24, regarding interpretation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) container labeling requirements under the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), 29 CFR 1910.1200(f).

Your letter presents the following interpretation which you received from Ms. Jennifer Miller of OSHA's Training Institute regarding this issue:

"[The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, does not regulate the outer shipping container of hazardous material. The hazard warning labeling requirement is only enforced and limited to the actual container holding the hazardous substance, i.e. bottle, tube, can, jar, etc.

There is no OSHA requirement for hazardous warning labels on the outer shipping container.]"

We concur with this interpretation but would like to stress that if the shipping container itself is the "actual container holding the hazardous substance" then it would have to be labeled in accordance with the requirements of the HCS. Further, section (f)(3) of the standard requires that:

"Chemical manufacturers, importers, or distributors shall ensure that each container of hazardous chemicals leaving the workplace is labeled, tagged, or marked in accordance with this section in a manner which does not conflict with the requirements of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act {U.S.C. 1801 et seq.} and regulations issued under the Act by the Department of Transportation."

If the shipping container is the actual container holding the hazardous chemical, it would have to be labeled in accordance with the HCS, but labeled in such a way that the "appropriate hazard warning" did not interfere with any DOT required shipping labels or container shipping information.

We hope this clarifies this issue for you. For your further reference, we are enclosing a copy of OSHA's recently revised compliance instruction, CPL 2-2.38C, "Inspection Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard," (issued October 22, 1990). This document contains interpretative language and guidance on OSHA policies and procedures for compliance with the requirements of this performance-oriented standard. We hope this information is useful to you. Please feel free to contact us again if we can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,



Patricia K. Clark Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs

Enclosure



October 24, 1990

Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs
OSHA U.S. Department of Labor,
Room N3461
Office of Health Compliance Assistance
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20210

Dear Ms. Clark:

This is to request your assistance in interpreting CFR 29 1910.1200 (f), Labels and Other Forms of Warning. Our Safety Officer has been in contact with your associates at the OSHA Technical Institute in Des Plains, Illinois. Ms. Jennifer Miller informed us that her interpretation of this regulation, after discussion with your office, is the following:

"[The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, does not regulate the outer shipping container of hazardous material. The hazard warning labeling requirement is only enforced and limited to the actual container holding the hazardous substance, i.e. bottle, tube, can, jar, etc. There is no OSHA requirement for hazardous warning labels on the outer shipping container.]"

If you concur and find this to be factual, please forward your interpretation in writing to this office. This supportive document will be of tremendous value in resolving General Services Administration contractual, procurement, and shipping discrepancies.

Your assistance in this matter will be greatly appreciated. If you need to discuss this matter in greater detail please contact our Safety Officer, Linda Richison at FTS 463-6346/6347 or Commercial (209) 946-6346/6347 (Fax 463-6214).

Sincerely,



John W. Boyan
Acting Director
Western Distribution Center (9FS)


Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents