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OSHA's strategy for reactive chemicals: No new standard

OSHA is doing everything short of setting a new standard in its new strategy to reduce the hazards posed by reactive chemicals.

Last year, the U.S. Chemical Safety & Hazard Investigation Board called on OSHA to set tighter regulations on reactive chemicals, reporting that the agency's process safety management standard had sizeable gaps in its coverage of reactives.

The American Society of Safety Engineers has also gone on record arguing for a new, separate reactive chemical regulation.

But OSHA's emphasis is on guidance and education. New guidelines will be coming from OSHA on hazard communication and MSDSs, said OSHA chief John Henshaw in announcing the plan. OSHA will also revise its compliance directive for the process safety management standard.

"Chemical Reactivity Safety" is a new section on OSHA's Web site, featuring information on the recognition, evaluation and control of chemical reactive hazards, including compliance requirements and training resources. The Web section also offers access to a new book by the Center for Chemical Process Safety, "Essentials Practices for Managing Chemical Reactivity Hazards."

Visit www.osha.gov for the details.

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