In an effort to address questions posed by stakeholders regarding the labeling requirements of both agencies, PHMSA and OSHA have released a joint guidance that clarifies the applicability of their labeling requirements for hazardous chemicals. The two agencies are responsible for the enforcement of safety standards regarding hazardous chemicals in the United States.
OSHA has released a Hazard Classification Guidance for Manufacturers, Importers, and Employers that focuses on updates to the Hazard Communication Standard. The updates are designed to reduce trade barriers, improve productivity for businesses that handle, store, and use hazardous chemicals regularly, and aid businesses that periodically update safety data sheets and chemical labels by providing cost savings.
Some of the changes made to the Hazard Communication Standard focus on the specific criteria used in the classification of health and physical hazards, the classification of mixtures, the requirements manufacturers and importers must use on labels, and specified 16 section format safety data sheets.
Today the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released instructions for compliance safety and health officers in regards to the proper enforcement of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) during the transition period and after the new standards are fully implemented on June 1, 2016.
The HCS was initially revised in March of 2012. The revisions focused on hazard classification of chemicals, standardizing label elements for containers that hold hazardous chemicals, and the format and required content for safety data sheets.
The revisions also stated that employers are required to train workers on the new labeling and SDS requirements by December 1, 2013. Chemical manufacturers, importers and distributors were given until June 1, 2015 to be fully compliant with the new SDS requirements. Manufacturers and importers were given until June 1, 2015 to be fully compliant with the new labeling requirements. Distributors will have until December 1, 2015 to fully comply with the new labeling standards provided they are not re-labeling any materials or creating safety data sheet.
Since releasing the original memo “Enforcement Guidance for Hazard Communication Standards” on February 9, 2015, OSHA has received an overwhelming amount of questions relating to the use of HCS 1994-compliant labels on containers packaged for shipment and requests for additional clarification on behalf of manufacturers, importers and distributors.
In response to these questions and requests, on May 29, 2015 OSHA released a memo entitled “Interim Enforcement Guidance for Hazard Communication 2012 (HCS 2012) June 1,2015 Effective Date” which focuses on manufacturers, importers and distributors that have not yet received classification and SDS information from upstream suppliers.
Due to OSHA’s efforts to ensure the additional clarification gets included in the revised Hazard Communication directive there has been a slight delay in completing review and clearance of the directive. The anticipated issuance date for the directive is now set for shortly after June 1, 2015 and this memo will be cancelled upon its issuance.
In accordance with The Department of Transportation’s Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR part 107 subpart B) notice is hereby given in regards to the actions on special permits applications. The following modes of transportation involved are identified by a number in the “Nature of Application” portion of the table included in the original article is as follows:
1. Motor Vehicle
2. Rail Freight
3. Cargo Vessel
4. Cargo Aircraft Only
5. Passenger-Carrying Aircraft
Those application numbers that are prefixed with EE represent applications for Emergency Special Permits.
OSHA is seeking public comments concerning the proposal to extend the OMB's approval of information collection requirements as specified in the Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200; 1915.1200; 1917.28; 1918.90; 1926.59; and 1928.21). Comments will be accepted until June 26, 2015.
For more information on where to submit your comments please see the Federal Register
As of June 1, 2015 all U.S. chemical manufacturers are required to be in compliance with the International SDS and GHS standards. This final rule modifies the HCS and aligns it with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling that has been established by the U.N. OSHA determined the modifications are necessary to reduce cost and burdens while improving the quality and consistency of the information provided to both employers and employees in regards to chemical hazards.
Click Here to view the HCS table that outlines phase in dates for the revised HCS
Click Here to read the complete ruling
OSHA has responded to the request for relief on the SDS mandatory date for mixtures which is currently set for June 1, 2015. OSHA has decided not to change the effective date but did adopt a policy of mitigated enforcement in cases where a company can justify not only a good faith effort but also show a lack of ability to comply. The new policy may provide some assistance to smaller companies who are working with just a few OSHA inspectors.
To read the entire response from OSHA please visit DGAC.org
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced that they will be holding a webinar on November 10, 2014 aimed at updating stakeholders and the public on issues relating to Executive Order 13650 – Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security. The webinar will also discuss the progress that federal agencies have made in implementing the Federal Action Plan for improving the safety and security of chemical facilities. There is no cost to register for the webinar. For information on registering for the webinar please visit Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 204
An informal public meeting of the U.S. Interagency GHS Coordinating Group will be held on June 11, 2014 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm. The goal of this meeting is to provide updates on GHS related issues. This meeting will also give stakeholders an opportunity to express their views both orally and in writing concerning the developing U.S. Government positions for the upcoming UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Global Harmonized System meeting. During the meeting stakeholders will also be given an opportunity to discuss any issues or concerns they may have that are related to OSHA’s activities in the U.S. – Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC). Some of the topics that are currently scheduled to be discussed are:
– Review of Working Papers
– Correspondence Group Updates
– Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC)
The location of the meeting is as follows:
DOT Headquarters Conference Center – Conference Room 3
1200 New Jersey Ave. SE
Washington, DC 20590
All attendees are asked to pre-register for this meeting. Registration forms can be found by clicking on the following link: Pre-Registration: Public Meeting – UN45 and GHS27
Click here to read the full notice on upcoming meetings