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GHS alignment: OSHA proposes updates to hazard communication regs

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Washington — OSHA has issued a long-awaited proposed rule that would update its regulations on hazard communication to align with the seventh version of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, the agency announced Feb. 5.

The proposed rule is scheduled to be published in the Feb. 16 Federal Register.

The HazCom Standard (1910.1200) currently is linked to the third version of GHS, an action that took place in 2012. The United Nations updated the GHS for an eighth time in 2019.

In a pre-published version of the proposed rule, OSHA says its work on updating the standard started before the UN’s update. Additionally, the United States’ major trading partners – including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and those in Europe – “are all preparing to align” with the seventh version.


“OSHA expects the HCS update will increase worker protections and reduce the incidence of chemical-related occupational illnesses and injuries by further improving the information on the labels and Safety Data Sheets for hazardous chemicals,” the agency states in a press release. “Proposed modifications will also address issues since implementation of the 2012 standard and improve alignment with other federal agencies and Canada.

“OSHA has preliminarily determined that the proposed modifications would enhance the effectiveness of the standard by improving dissemination of hazard information so employees are more appropriately apprised of exposure to chemical hazards in the workplace.”

The deadline to comment on the proposed rule is April 19.

Quiz: Match the pictogram to the hazard

Click a GHS symbol and click its hazard description. When they match and dissolve, click the next matching symbol and description.

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