OSHA’s revised hazard communication standard passed the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review. The updated standard incorporates the principles of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) which aims to standardize the classification and labeling of chemicals and related hazard communication. Benefits of OSHA’s updated HCS include reduced time and costs involved in meeting multiple regulations for hazard communication, improved comprehension and understanding of health and environmental hazards, facilitation of trade by removing barriers created by various health and safety requirements, and reduction of duplicate material testing.

The OMB approved the standard through the final ruling stage as “consistent with change.” The consistent with change status signifies that the draft rule had been modified in the course of the review, but was determined to be consistent with the executive order and all applicable requirements. However, it is not yet known the extent of the changes, whether they are substantive or inconsequential. Now in the Final Rule stage, the last step is for the rule to be published officially in the Federal Register thus setting the effective date for the transition period. The timing of publication to the register is not known at this time.

We will keep you informed of future GHS developments.