GHSWith Office of Management and Budget (OMB) finished reviewing OSHA's revised hazard communication standard, the agency is on the verge of publishing it in the Federal Register - the last stage of the rulemaking processand the one that sets the effective date for the transition period.

The updated standard will be consistent with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) which aims to standard  the classification and labeling of chemicals related to hazard communication. The GHS standard is already used by many countries around the world. The U.S. is one of the last to make the changes.
The rule will require the use a new format for material safety data sheets (MSDSs) that will include new information, and changes to warning labels for chemical containers that are consistent with the GHS.

Benefits of OSHA’s updated HCS are expected to include reduced time and costs involved in meeting multiple regulations for hazard communication, improved comprehension and understanding of health and environmental hazards, facilitation of trade by removing barriers created by various health and safety requirements, and reduction of duplicate material testing.

The Department of Labor has announced a press conference on the final rule tomorrow that will be hosted by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. The DOL says the revision will better protect workers from hazardous chemicals and help American businesses compete in a global economy.

Visit tomorrow afternoon for a complete report on the press conference.