On February 15, 2021, OSHA posted a notice of proposed rulemaking to make changes to the Hazard Communication Standard. The proposed changes include updates the criteria for classification on health and physical hazard, updating labels, new labeling provisions for small containers, technical amendments for the contents of safety data sheets, and revisions to definitions of certain terms.
The revised criteria for classification of certain health and physical hazards now includes any hazards associated with a change in the chemical’s physical form or from a reaction with other chemicals. The revised provisions for updating labels now includes the date the chemical is released for shipment. Labels for bulk shipments can be on the immediate container or with the shipping papers, bills of lading or other electronic means that makes it immediately available to workers “in printed form on the receiving end of shipment”.
The proposed changes also state that chemical manufacturers or importers need to update the label for each individual container with each shipment, but do not need to relabel chemicals that have been released for shipment and are awaiting future distribution. For the new labeling provisions for small containers, additional options are available in situations where it is not feasible to use the full label information. This includes putting the full label information on an outer package, a statement on the outer package that the smaller container needs to remain in the outer package when not in use, and at least has the product identifier on containers less than or equal to 3 ml.
OSHA is taking public comments on all of the proposed changes and the use of electronic template files to create safety data sheets and labels. The comment period is open until May 19, 2021.