August 2015 - OSHA Provides Guidance for Enforcing the Revised Hazard Communication Standard

OSHA has issued instructions to compliance safety and health officers on how to ensure consistent enforcement of the revised Hazard Communication standard*. This instruction outlines the revisions to the standard, such as the revised hazard classification of chemicals, standardizing label elements for containers of hazardous chemicals, and specifying the format and required content for safety data sheets. It explains how the revised standard is to be enforced during its transition period and after the standard is fully implemented on June 1, 2016.

OSHA revised the standard in March 2012 to align with the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. The revised standard improves the quality, consistency and clarity of chemical hazard information that workers receive.

Under the standard, employers were required to train workers on the new label elements and safety data sheets by Dec. 1, 2013. Chemical manufacturers, importers and distributors had to comply with revised safety data sheet requirements by June 1, 2015. Manufacturers and importers had to comply with new labeling provisions by June 1, 2015. Distributors have until Dec. 1, 2015, to comply with labeling provisions as long as they are not relabeling materials or creating safety data sheets, in which case they must comply with the June 1 deadline.

Additional information on the revised Hazard Communication Standard may be found on OSHA's Hazard Communication Safety and Health Topics page.

NOTE: Reprinted from OSHA.gov