OSHA Proposes Changes to Hazard Communication Standard

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), one of the key OSHA regulations addressing chemical safety, applies to all printing operations. On February 5, 2021, OSHA issued a proposed rule updating the HCS to align its rules with those in the seventh version of the United Nation’s Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), published in 2017. The current version of the HCS, last revised in 2012, is based on the third version of the GHS program.

Key modifications outlined by OSHA in the proposed rule, include:

  • Changes to labeling, including new label elements and accommodations to address small containers and bulk shipments.
  • Revisions, clarifications, and additions to definitions.
  • Allowance for concentration ranges for trade secrets.
  • Revised criteria for classification of certain health and physical hazards.
  • Revisions to the Safety Data Sheet contents

Once the rule is finalized, there will be a transition period of one year for chemical manufacturers, importers, and distributors of substances and two years for chemical manufacturers, importers, and distributors of mixtures. 

The PRINTING United Alliance’s Government Affairs Department will be monitoring the proposed revisions and will report back on its progress. Please contact the Government Affairs Department at govtaffairs@printing.org with any questions or assistance in complying with the HCS.  

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