The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is proposing to modify the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to align to the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System (GHS). The goal of the modification is to address issues that came up following implementation of the 2012 update to the HCS, and provide better alignment with other U.S agencies and major trading partners such as Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand without lowering the protections provided by the standard.

The proposed changes aim to reduce costs while also improving the quality and consistency of information provided to employers and employees regarding chemical hazards, health and physical hazards, and associated protective measures. According to OSHA, improving the information on labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) will increase worker protections, and reduce the incidence of chemical related occupational illnesses and injuries. OSHA’s proposed modifications also include codifying enforcement policies in OSHA’s compliance directive, new labeling requirements for small containers, clarifying specific requirements related to the transport of hazardous chemicals, adopting technical requirements related to preparation of Safety Data Sheets (SDS), and revisions to definitions of terms used in the standard.

The period for submitting public comments is being extended by 30 days to allow stakeholders additional time to review the proposed rule and collect information and data necessary for comment. Comments on the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), including requests for hearing and other information, must be submitted by May 19, 2021.

Individuals interested in submitting comments related to the NPRM, identified by Docket No: OSHA-2019-0001, can do so electronically on the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at

Contact Walden Environmental Engineering for more information!