OSHA issues final rule on hazcom

Washington – The final rule aligning OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (1910.1200) with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals was released March 20.

The new rule (.pdf file) is intended to more easily communicate substances’ hazards through labels and Safety Data Sheets with a standardized approach that will use pictograms, signal words, and hazard and precautionary statements.

In a teleconference with reporters, OSHA administrator David Michaels said the idea of the original standard could be considered as the workers’ “right to know,” and the update gives workers the “right to understand.”

The final rule will be published in the March 26 Federal Register, and will go into effect 60 days later. The rule’s requirements will go into effect in phases, beginning Dec. 1, 2013, with the requirement that employees must be trained on the new label elements and Safety Data Sheet formats.

Read the May issue of Safety+Health magazine for more details on the rule change.

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