More Hazard Communication Issues

An inquiry was made by the American Coatings Association, which they asked OSHA to clearly outline the import of materials and the export of materials in sealed containers for the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) responded with a Letter of Interpretation (LOI) on November 23rd, 2015 which further clarified the responsibilities of US companies when importing or exporting materials that require attention under the 29 CFR 1910.1200

In regard to import OSHA’s guidance in the LOI states the responsibility falls on the importers to assure compliant labeling when the material becomes under their control. Once in their control, importers must follow the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.1200(b)(4) where applicable. Importers must also assure compliance with HCS 2012 prior to shipping within the United States. In this LOI, OSHA encourages the review of their CPL-02-02-079 Section X.F.2h compliance directive which entails information for materials packaged for shipment prior to June 1st, 2015.

OSHA’s guidance for export in this LOI for sealed containers is that if prepared for direct shipment outside the US and are inside a USDOT approved shipping container, the manufacturer can label the container for the destination country. A HCS compliant label must be affixed to the outside package or be attached to the shipping papers as well. The container would also have to be labeled according the appropriate regulation for Continue Reading…

OSHA Update
OSHA Clarifies How to Handle Small Container Labels

After a couple years of head-scratching on how to label small vials and bottles with all the required information, OSHA has released some clarification on how to do so. Unlike WHMIS and the EU, OSHA never released exceptions on how to properly label small containers. Small containers are considered to be in the scope of 5 mL vials or 50 mL bottles. One thing OSHA made very clear is that NIST linking, numbering system and EU exceptions cannot be used. Each label, no matter the size of the bottle, must contain all the required information.

OSHA recently released guidelines on how workplace labels can be handled with such small containers. While pull-out labels, fold back labels, or tags can be used, there are cases where even these smaller labels can be too large for the container or not cost effective. Thankfully, OSHA understands that and has cleared up how to handle this.

If you have a small container that the above mentioned labels are just too large to fit on the actual container, there is an accommodation that can be used.

Minimum Label Information

The actual container can have a label that consists, at minimum, the following information:

  • Product identifier
  • Appropriate pictograms
  • Manufacturer’s name and phone number
  • Signal word
  • A statement indicating the full label information for the chemical is provided on the outside package

The outside package for the bottle/vial must consist, at minimum, the following:

CPSC Declines to Incorporate GHS Classification for Sensitizers

In a set-back for harmonization between U.S. regulations for consumer products and workplace chemicals, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has decided not to adopt the classification for sensitizers used by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

In a Final Rule published in the Federal Gazette on February 14, 2014 (CPSC Docket No. CPSC-2013-0010), the CPSC has revised the supplemental definition of “strong sensitizer” under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA). The FHSA addresses various chemical hazards for consumer products. This new definition is intended to:

  • remove subjective factors currently found in classifying sensitizers, and creating a more objective definition;
  • eliminate overlap in regulations regarding this area;
  • help introduce new technologies for determining the potential for sensitization, such as in silico testing (computer-simulated evaluation);
  • reorder the criteria used to classify sensitizers in their order of importance;
  • define “severity of reaction” as applied to sensitizers; and
  • provide for the use of a “weight of evidence” approach for classification.

This new rulemaking rationalizes the consumer classification approach for products containing sensitizers within the CPSC’s own regulations. However, the CPSC has turned down requests by some commenters to move the consumer regulations closer to the OSHA’s HAZCOM 2012 standard (found in in Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (29 CFR) section 1910.1200). In its comments on the rulemaking, the CPSC stated that:

“Implementation of the GHS by the Commission would be broad-reaching, with potential Continue Reading…

OSHA is One Step Closer to Implementing GHS

It appears that the Globally Harmonized System in the US is still not quite ready.

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), under the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), began a review on October 25, 2011, of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Docket No. OSHA–H022K–2006–0062, from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This amendment would adapt the hazard communication requirements of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (29 CFR) to reflect the international standard known as the Globally Harmonized System, or GHS.

As its name implies, the OMB’s mission is to assist the President in overseeing the preparation of the federal budget, and review and oversee financial implications of new regulations. The office must review regulations before they can proceed to final publication.

The review of the proposed rulemaking was extended for a month in January, with the OMB issuing their completed report on February 21, 2012. The report indicates that the amendment is accepted “consistent with change”. This indicates that the agency, though accepting the amendment in general, will require some changes before being finalized. However, the report from the OMB does not indicate if these changes will be minor or much more substantial.

The phrase "consistent with Continue Reading…