OSHA unveils final hazcom rule

While participating in a teleconference today with OSHA officials about the agency’s final hazcom standard, I learned a few details about the new rule. Here they are:

  • The previously named “unclassified hazards” category from the proposed rule has been renamed “hazards not otherwise classified.”
  • Combustible dust will not be included in the HNOC category, but will instead be included in the “hazardous chemical” category.
  • Threshold Limit Values – guidelines from the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists – will be required on the new Safety Data Sheets. They were previously required on Material Safety Data Sheets.
  • Employers will be required to have their employees trained on the new labels and formats by Dec. 1, 2013.
  • Full compliance with most modified provisions of the final rule by manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers is required by June 1, 2015.

The rule, in the works for about six years, updates OSHA’s current hazcom standard by aligning it with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.

Be sure to check out a future issue of Safety+Health for more details on new requirements in the final rule, and what stakeholders have to say about it.

The opinions expressed in "Washington Wire" do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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