OSHA Announces Delay to Update of HazComm

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and other US agencies have been involved in a long-term project to negotiate a globally harmonized approach to classifying chemical hazards, and providing labels and safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals. The result is the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).

The GHS was adopted by the United Nations, with an international goal of as many countries as possible adopting it by 2008. OSHA incorporated the GHS into the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) in March 2012 to specify requirements for hazard classification and to standardize label components and information on safety data sheets, which will improve employee protection and facilitate international trade.

The GHS has been updated several times since OSHA’s rulemaking. OSHA is conducting rulemaking to harmonize the HCS to the latest edition of the GHS and to codify a number of enforcement policies that have been issued since the 2012 standard. OSHA notified the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in spring 2018 that it intended to publish a Notice of Public Rulemaking (NPRM) to update its HCS to align with the latest edition of the GHS; the only difference is that it scheduled it to be issued by February 2019. In the recently released spring 2019 agenda, OSHA now indicates it intends to issue the NPRM in December 2019.

For more information, visit www.osha.gov.