Springfield, MO, January 25, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- The US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has officially extended its review period for OSHA's revised Hazard Communication Standard (GHS).
The pending final rule for Hazard Communication was submitted to the OMB on October 25, 2011 by OSHA. The OMB then had 90 days to either rule on the revised regulations or to extend the review period. The 90 days was set to expire this week and it now appears that the OMB has officially extend the review period.
This extension of the review period is an extremely common action from the OMB and now allows them to almost indefinitely extend the time frame.
This revised Hazard Communication Standard(HCS) is commonly referred to as GHS. GHS stands for Globally Harmonized System. This revision is OSHA's method of aligning their Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) with the United Nations' (UN) standard for chemical safety. The most significant changes include: New MSDS requirements (new name is SDS), new chemical labeling requirements and new employee training requirements.
Here is an abstract from the OMB:
"OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires chemical manufacturers and importers to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import, and prepare labels and material safety data sheets to convey the hazards and associated protective measures to users of the chemicals. All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces are required to have a hazard communication program, including labels on containers, material safety data sheets (MSDS), and training for employees. Within the United States (U.S.), there are other Federal agencies that also have requirements for classification and labeling of chemicals at different stages of the life cycle. Internationally, there are a number of countries that have developed similar laws that require information about chemicals to be prepared and transmitted to affected parties. These laws vary with regard to the scope of substances covered, definitions of hazards, the specificity of requirements (e.g., specification of a format for MSDSs), and the use of symbols and pictograms. The inconsistencies between the various laws are substantial enough that different labels and safety data sheets must often be used for the same product when it is marketed in different nations. The diverse and sometimes conflicting national and international requirements can create confusion among those who seek to use hazard information. Labels and safety data sheets may include symbols and hazard statements that are unfamiliar to readers or not well understood. Containers may be labeled with such a large volume of information that important statements are not easily recognized. Development of multiple sets of labels and safety data sheets is a major compliance burden for chemical manufacturers, distributors, and transporters involved in international trade. Small businesses may have particular difficulty in coping with the complexities and costs involved. As a result of this situation, and in recognition of the extensive international trade in chemicals, there has been a long-standing effort to harmonize these requirements and develop a system that can be used around the world. In 2003, the United Nations adopted the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). Countries are now adopting the GHS into their national regulatory systems."
To provide more information National Safety Compliance has developed a website that is specific to OSHA's GHS and Hazard Communication changes, please visit this website at: www.ghs-hazard-communication.com