OSHA Issues Notice of Informal Hearing to Discuss Updates to Their Hazard Communication Standard

A notice of information hearing is scheduled for September 21st by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for updates on the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The hearing will be held virtually at 10 AM, EDT and if necessary, the hearing will continue from 9:30 AM until 5:00 PM EDT on the days following.

The HCS update is expected to increase worker protection and reduce the incidence of chemical-related illnesses and/or injuries by improving the information on the labels and Safety Data Sheets. The proposed modifications will also address issues since implementation of the 2012 standard, while also improving alignment with other federal agencies.

What is OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard?

HCS requires identification of workplace chemicals and their hazards to ensure workplace safety with regards to chemical handling and exposure. Chemical information must be both readily available to workers and provided in a format that is also understood by workers.

Through HCS, chemical manufacturers/importers are required to evaluate hazards in the chemical substances they produce/import and are required to prepare labels and safety data sheets (SDSs) to ensure information regarding hazards is available to their downstream chemical handlers and users (customers).

All employers that have hazardous chemicals in their workplace must have labels and safety data sheets on hand to alert and provide information to their potentially exposed workers. Employers must train their workers on how to handle these chemicals in the workplace in a safe manner through employing Standard Operation Procedures and Best Management Practices.

The hearing will begin Sept. 21, 2021, at 10 a.m., EDT, and will be held virtually using WebEx. If necessary, the hearing will continue from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. EDT on subsequent days. Additional information on how to access the informal hearing will be posted on OSHA’s Proposed Rulemaking to Amend the Hazard Communication Standard webpage.

If you would like to learn more about the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard or need help with the required employee training or implementation of a Hazard Communication Plan at your facility, contact Walden Environmental Engineering at 516-701-1681.

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