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February 20, 2012

GHS Delayed Again Over "Unclassified Hazards"

OSHA implementation of the GHS Standard (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals) has been delayed once again. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is extending its review of the final rule to revise its hazard communication standard. OSHA had expected to release the GHS in February.

MSDS safety sign at ComplianceSigns.comThe rule is intended to align OSHA's Hazard Communication standard with that of the United Nations' GHS already adopted by many other countries. The rule would change the OSHA's criteria for classifying physical and health hazards, adopt standardized labeling requirements, and require a standardized order of information on safety data sheets.

Many U.S. groups have asked for inclusion of a category for "Unclassified Hazards." This would cover substances that may pose risks to workers (based on scientific evidence identified during the employer's classification process), but that do not meet the criteria for any of the current physical or health hazard categories.

The Chemical Safety Board (CSB) says an Unclassified Hazards category would allow the GHS to provide crucial information on topics such as combustible dust. Over the past eight years, the CSB has conducted five major investigations and one safety study of fatal combustible dust explosions and flash fires. CSB says this hazard is far too common in industry, yet the GHS would be unable to address its presence or prevention without an Unclassified Hazards category.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks a lot for the article. You may find the following article useful for your readers and customers.

    2015: A Busy Year for Global GHS Implementation