U.S. OSHA: Updated Hazcom Standard in the Home Stretch

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will soon publish an updated version of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). With the new publication, OSHA generally aligns the content with the seventh revised edition of the United Nations Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for the classification and labeling of chemicals.

The new version – based on OSHA’s February 2021 proposal – is eagerly awaited because one of the things it does is specify the form and content of U.S. safety data sheets and the handling of chemicals in the workplace.

The new version is also important for Canadian regulations. As things stand now, companies must comply with the new requirements of the Canadian Hazardous Product Regulation (HPR) by December 15, 2025. However, this deadline could be pushed back again once the final HCS standards are published. A speaker expressed this assumption at the annual meeting of the Society for Chemical Hazard Communication (SCHC) in Washington in early October.

Because of their close trade relations, both countries are trying to harmonize the regulations for handling chemicals much as possible.

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