OSHA Revises Hazard Communication Standard

March 28, 2012 | Risk Management News


The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published a final rule in the March 26, 2012, Federal Register, which revises its Hazard Communication Standard to align it with the United Nations' global chemical labeling system. Consistent with the requirements of Executive Order 13563, the modifications to the standard include revised criteria for the classification of chemical hazards; revised labeling provisions that include requirements for the use of standardized signal words, pictograms, hazard statements, and precautionary statements; a specified format for safety data sheets; related revisions to definitions of terms used in the standard; and requirements for employee training on labels and safety data sheets. According to a March 20, 2012, OSHA news release, the revised standard will be fully implemented by 2016 and will benefit workers by reducing confusion about chemical hazards in the workplace, facilitating safety training, and improving understanding of hazards—especially for workers with lower levels of literacy.

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