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    OSHA's 2024 Hazard Communication Standard: What You Need To Know

    5 June 2024 - Langdon Dement


    Once again, the United States is in the wake of a major change - a change that has been anticipated for three years and is bound to create a stir for organizations. A change that is believed to provide further clarity for organizations and reduce the risk of incidents. You’re probably wondering right now, “Wow, what in the world could this be?”

    Well, if you thought we were talking about the new Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) revision, then well done, you nailed it.

    Since 2012, the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) (29 CFR 1910.1200) has been aligned with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).

    According to OSHA, “This update will provide a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets. This update will also help reduce trade barriers and result in productivity improvements for American businesses that regularly handle, store and use hazardous chemicals while providing cost savings for American businesses that periodically update safety data sheets and labels for chemicals covered under the hazard communication standard."

    This final rule will primarily align the HCS to the 7th revision of the GHS and takes effect July 19, 2024. Similar to the original alignment, the updated revision hopes to reduce injuries and illnesses by further improving labels and safety data sheets (SDSs) which should create better understanding and clarity for employees.

    In simple terms, regulatory bodies believe the final rule will improve and enhance worker protection by:

    • Providing additional clarification of existing regulatory requirements

    • Incorporating new hazard classes and categories

    • Improving and streamlining precautionary statements

    • Facilitating international trade through increased alignment

    For most EHS professionals, this begs the question, “How will it improve our workplace?” This is a fair question and might not always seem clear, but ultimately, anything that provides more insight and transparency for employees can improve the workplace. And in this instance, it’s all around generating better understanding in the realm of chemical management.

    Want to learn more? Check out our live podcast recording HERE.

    References for use:




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