OSHA Denies Industry Petition Regarding Hazcom 2012

Hazcom 2012 Deadline Extensions Denied

In August 2014, nine industry organizations filed a formal request to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) asking to extend the deadline for compliance with the new hazard communication requirements for two years. The new requirements were published as a Final Rule on March 26, 2012 and became effective May 25, 2012. This rulemaking is based on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) and is referred to as Hazcom 2012.

Chemical manufactures and importers have until June 1, 2015 to be fully compliant with the new labeling and SDS requirements. While industry has been supportive of the new requirements put in place by OSHA, compliance has been a very slow and difficult process. The petition for delayed compliance with Hazcom 2012 was filed due to the lack of updated classifications available down the supply chain to end users. Many manufacturers are concerned that they will not be able to accurately classify their products by the June 1 deadline due to incomplete information for raw materials that is currently available.
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Ebola Outbreak Puts Stress on Shippers of Infectious Substances

The headlines are frightening – Ebola virus, one of the most deadly viruses known, has broken out in several African countries. Medical authorities are concerned that it could spread beyond that region, carried by travellers all over the world. Laboratories in North America and Europe are on alert for patients showing suspicious symptoms. This, in turn, means that samples and specimens must be transported for testing and verification. How can the medical community deal with transportation of such high-risk materials?

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Ebola virus is considered a “hemorrhagic fever,” which affects the blood system. Its virulence is astonishing, with a fatality rate of between 50 and 90 percent. Combine this with the ability to be transmitted through casual contact, and the lack of specific vaccines or treatment, and it’s understandable why Ebola is such a feared disease. Therefore, it is all the more essential that transporters make sure that they comply with all legal and safety requirements.
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OSHA Revises Electrical Standards

On April 1, 2014, OSHA announced a forthcoming rule change on electrical safety requirements. Specifically, the changes are for: Power Generation, transmission, and distribution and protective equipment.

“This long-overdue update will save nearly 20 lives and prevent 118 serious injuries annually,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “Electric utilities, electrical contractors and labor organizations have persistently championed these much-needed measures to better protect the men and women who work on or near electrical power lines.”
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US Report on Chemical Safety and Security Issued

On June 6, a working group of Federal departments and agencies issued a report to President Obama titled Actions to Improve Chemical Facility Safety and Security – A Shared Commitment. This report is the result of Executive Order 13650, issued in August, 2013, requesting these departments and agencies to:

  • Strengthen community planning and preparedness;
  • Enhance Federal operational coordination;
  • Improve data management within the Federal government, and improve information sharing;
  • Modernize policies and regulations, to reflect the most up-to-date practices; and
  • Incorporate stakeholder feedback and developing best practices.
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US Government Accounting Office Wetlines Report

The US Government Accounting Office (GAO) has issued its much anticipated wetlines report, “Cargo Tank Trucks: Improved Incident Data and Regulatory Analysis Would Better Inform Decisions about Safety Risks.” http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-721.

A Welcome Change to HazCom Labeling

OSHA recently published a brief relating to the new hazardous chemical labeling requirements under the Hazard Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200 (HCS), which brought the standard into alignment with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

The brief outlines the labeling requirements under the new standard. OSHA also discussed an exciting change, that it intends to make to Appendix C, Allocation Of Label Elements, along with a clarification.

Previously, OSHA did not allow a GHS pictogram to be shown on a shipped container label if it conflicted with the DOT hazmat label. Section C.2.3.3 stated:
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Federal Railway Administration Adjusts HAZMAT Fines

In a recent Final Rule, The Federal Railway Administration (FRA) has increased or modified its penalties for hazardous materials violations involving rail shipments.

The Final Rule, RIN 2130–ZA11, reflects Title III of Division C of MAP–21(Pub. L. 112–141), the Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety Improvement Act of 2012. This Act revised the maximum and minimum civil penalties for violations of Federal laws regarding hazardous materials transportation. FRA has therefore updated its references to the maximum and minimum civil penalties for hazardous materials violations in its own guidelines.
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A Reminder – US Shipping Description Changes Becoming Mandatory for 2013

We’ve turned our clocks backwards, started our holiday preparations, and maybe even bought new calendars for 2013. But there’s one other thing that should be on our minds for the New Year, at least for shippers in the United States. We must make sure that our shipping descriptions are in order.

In 2006, a Final Rule, Docket No. PHMSA–06–25476, known as HM-215I, was issued by the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). The goal of this rule was to bring the US Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR) into line with the current UN Recommendations for Transport of Dangerous Goods. One major change was that the shipping description order, as described in 49 CFR section 172.202(a), would be rearranged to reflect the international standard.
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PHMSA Issues ANPRM on “Reverse Logistics”

How many times have you gotten something home from a store, and then decided it had to go back? Returns by customers, which then have to be returned by the store to distribution centers, are a fact of life for retailers today, enough that the process has its own name – “reverse logistics”. And while it’s easy enough to do for DVDs or clothing, if the returned product is a hazardous material, it can become a regulatory nightmare. Therefore, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has announced an Advanced Notification of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to study how this process should be regulated in the United States.
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IATA Stresses Backing for Use of Biofuels

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is asking governments to support the development of biofuels to ensure the emerging industry is a staple supplier for air travel and help to reduce carbon emissions.

The group’s annual general meeting in Beijing is this week (June 11-15, 2012) and IATA chief executive Tony Tyler said that airlines have undertaken many flights using such fuels, but supply is low and cost is prohibitively high.

As such, governments need to adopt policies to help support the commercialization of biofuels to “bring up the volume and bring down the price,” Tyler said, according to Businessweek.
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