OSHA Proposing Changes to HazCom

The Hazard Communication Standard, now referred to as Globally Harmonized System (GHS), may be undergoing a change.  The impact of this change by federal OSHA on Cal/OSHA 8CCR5194 is unknown at this time, as well as whether Federal OSHA will continue its path to amend GHS.

From Right-to-Know in 1981 to HazCom in 1983 to GHS (based on the third revision), we may be looking at an “update” to the current standard (which I still call “HazCom”).  On February 5, 2021, Federal OSHA proposed a change to the hazard communication standard, which would align it with the seventh revision of the GHS (OSHA did not amend GHS with the prior GHS revisions).  The update is stated to increase worker protections and reduce the incidence of chemical-related occupational illnesses and injuries by improving labeling and Safety Data Sheet (SDS) information, as well as make some additional revisions to improve alignment with international trade.

The change from Revision 7 of GHS was published in 2017 and included modified criteria for flammable gases and some definition changes.  The latest version of GHS is actually Revision 8, published in 2019, which made some changes to aerosol classification criteria. It is uncertain if OSHA will consider these most current changes as well as those previously identified in Revision 7 of GHS.

The OSHA proposed changes to GHS can be found in the Federal Register published in February 16, 2021.  The comment period just ended (April 19, 2021).  Let us know if you need any assistance with compliance with the GHS standard which applies to all employers.