The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSH A) has revised its Hazard Communications Standard (HCS ) to align with the United Nations’ global chemical labeling system. When fully implemented by 2016, the revised standard will classify chemicals according to their physical and health hazards, and establish consistent labels and safety data sheets for all chemicals manufactured domestically or imported.
According to OSH A, the revised standard will reduce trade barriers and result in estimated annualized benefits in productivity for U.S. businesses that handle, store and use hazardous chemicals. During the transition period, those regulated may comply with 29 C.F.R. 1910.1200 (the final standard), the current standard or both. The revised standard takes effect May 25, 2012.