OSHA and the Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch of the Department of Health of Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding on June 19 to work together on implementing the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling in their respective jurisdictions. Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, and Suzy McDonald, director general for HECS, signed the agreement in which both parties will establish a working group to reduce barriers between the systems responsible for occupational safety and health of workplace chemicals.
"Today we live and work in a global environment with varying and sometimes conflicting national and international requirements," said Michaels. "Through GHS and now this MOU, OSHA and Health Canada have forged a relationship to jointly provide concise information to protect those exposed to hazardous chemicals."
OSHA is participating in the US-Canada High Level Regulatory Coordination Council to improve regulatory cooperation and adopt compatible approaches to promote economic growth, job creation and benefits to consumers and businesses through increased regulatory transparency and coordination.
Further information for workers, employers and downstream users of hazardous chemicals can be reviewed at OSHA's Hazard Communication Web page at http://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/index.html, which includes links to OSHA's revised Hazard Communication Standard and guidance materials such as frequently asked questions and OSHA fact sheets and Quick Cards.
OSHA aligned its Hazard Communication Standard with the GHS in March 2012 to provide a common, understandable approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets. In the U.S., all employers with hazardous chemicals in the workplace must conduct new training for workers on the new label elements and safety data sheets by Dec. 1, 2013. See OSHA's Hazard Communications page for materials available on the new changes to the requirements of HCS.