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OSHA publishes update to Hazard Communication Standard

Photo: David Bautista/iStockphoto

Washington — OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (1910.1200) will now align with the seventh revision of the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals

The final rule is set to go into effect July 19, the agency announced May 20.

OSHA’s previous hazcom update, published in 2012, was the first to align with GHS. That final rule incorporated the third revision. 

Changes to the standard include:

  • Revised criteria for classification of certain health and physical hazards
  • Revised provisions for updating labels 
  • New labeling provisions for small containers
  • New provisions related to trade secrets and technical amendments related to the contents of safety data sheets
  • Related revisions to definitions of terms used in the standard

“The updated standard will require labels on small packaging to be more comprehensive and readable and makes changes to help ensure trade secrets no longer prevent workers and first responders from receiving critical hazard information on safety data sheets,” an OSHA press release states.

“Workers will also benefit from other changes in the updated standard, including a clearer hazard classification process to provide more complete and accurate hazard information on labels and safety data sheets; updated physical hazard classes to better inform users on safe handling of explosives, aerosols and chemicals under pressure; and updated precautionary statements on how to safely handle, store and dispose of hazardous chemicals.”

OSHA is giving chemical manufacturers, importers and distributors from Jan. 19, 2026, to July 19, 2027, to comply with the new rules, depending on if they’re evaluating substances or mixtures. 

Employers using products covered under the standard must update their hazcom programs, labeling and employee training by July 20, 2026, or Jan. 19, 2028 – again, depending on substances or mixtures. 

Until those dates, employers, chemical manufacturers, distributors and importers can comply with either the old or new standard – or both – during the transition period. 

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