Dental Materials

OSHA updates standard to improve hazard information on chemical labels

Final rule takes effect July 19


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a final rule that will improve the amount and quality of information on chemical labels and safety data sheets to better protect workers.

The final rule updates the current Hazard Communication Standard to align with the seventh revision of the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. The changes take effect July 19.

The updated Hazard Communication Standard requires labels on small packaging to be more comprehensive and readable and makes changes to help ensure trade secrets no longer prevent workers and first responders from receiving critical hazard information on safety data sheets, according to an OSHA news release.

Other changes in the updated standard include: a clearer hazard classification process to provide more complete and accurate hazard information on labels and safety data sheets; updated physical hazard classes to better inform users on safe handling of explosives, aerosols and chemicals under pressure; and updated precautionary statements on how to safely handle, store and dispose of hazardous chemicals.

Established in 1983, the Hazard Communication Standard provides a standardized approach to workplace hazard communications associated with exposure to hazardous chemicals. OSHA updated the standard in 2012 to align with the third revision of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals to provide a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information.

The final rule addresses issues that arose since the implementation of the 2012 standard and improves alignment with other federal agencies and Canada.  

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