The long-awaited GHS Standard (Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals) expected to be released by OSHA in February has been delayed again.
According to The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), it has decided to extend its review of the final rule to revise its hazard communication standard.
The rule was supposed to have been a “no brainer,” aligning OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard with that of the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. Numerous countries have already adopted the UN system. The rule would change the agency’s criteria for classifying physical and health hazards, adopt standardized labeling requirements, and require a standardized order of information on safety data sheets.
But in this day of micro-managed regulatory issues in the U.S., and heavy lobbying, there is no such thing as a slam-dunk standard.
Labor unions, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Chemical Safety Board are among groups asking for more time so that the White House can consider including 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.