Navigating the Latest OSHA Hazard Communication Standard Update: What You Need to Know 

Navigating the Latest OSHA Hazard Communication Standard Update: What You Need to Know 

Introduction:  

Staying on top of regulatory changes is crucial for ensuring workplace safety and compliance. Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced significant amendments to its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) (1910.1200), aligning it with the seventh revision of the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). This update, set to take effect on July 19, 2024 represents a milestone in enhancing hazard communication and protecting workers from chemical-related hazards. 

Key Changes in the Standard: 

  • Revised Classification Criteria: The updated standard incorporates modified criteria to classify some health and physical hazards to give a much more precise and complete picture of the relevant hazard information. Other revisions are the definition of terms such as bulk shipment and combustible dust, among others, which helps clarify communication on hazards. 
  • Labeling Provisions: The revised labeling requirements now include updated provisions for updating labels that also apply to specific tiny containers and bulk containers. There is a general purpose of making the label comprehensible and readable, thus helping to communicate hazard information in the workplace more easily. 
  • Changes to Flammable Gas Hazard Class: These comprise a new hazard class (desensitized explosives) and several new hazard categories (unstable gases, pyrophoric gases) for the hazard class flammable gases. This reflects developments in the understanding of chemical hazards and is going to ensure that its standards get aligned with international ones. 
  • Revised Health Hazard Statements and Precautionary Statements: These revised health hazard and precautionary statements will help the users of hazardous chemicals understand how to safely store and handle hazardous chemicals.  
  • Trade Secrets and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs): New provisions related to trade secrets and technical amendments to SDS contents ensure that workers and first responders have access to critical hazard information, overcoming barriers posed by proprietary information. 

Implications for Employers and Manufacturers: 

  • Compliance Deadlines: Staggered compliance dates for chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors, and employers when evaluating substances and mixtures.  
  • Chemical manufacturers, importers, and distributors must comply with new rules by January 19, 2026 
  • Those entities evaluating mixtures must comply with new rules by July 19, 2027 
  • Employers Obligations: To ensure regulatory compliance and worker safety, employers must revise workplace labeling, Hazard Communication programs, and employee training by July 20, 2026. Employers must ensure similar updates by Jan. 19, 2028, if they own substances or mixtures. 
  • Transition Period: Until compliance deadlines, transitioning entities can comply with the same standard that was previously in place, or the new standard — or both — during the transition period. This enables a seamless shift from the old to the new operation of the system, while workplace safety is guaranteed at the time of this implementation. 

Benefits for Workers and Employers:  

  • Improved Hazard Communication: This update to the hazard communication standard will enhance the ability to classify hazards to ensure the most accurate information on the hazards is made available on labels and safety data sheets. 
  • Clearer Guidance: Updated physical hazard classes and precautionary statements offer clearer guidance on safe handling practices, benefiting both workers and employers. 
  • Streamlining of Compliance: The standard is revised and will align with international standards.  

Conclusion:  

The latest update of OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard ushers in a new, advanced standard for hazard communication and workplace safety. With knowledge of the significant changes in its requirements and compliance with those requirements, an employer can ensure regulatory safety.  

Contact Us:  

At CAPACCIO, we specialize in managing changes and optimizing Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) practices. The long-awaited arrival and implementation of OSHA’s revised Hazard Communication Standard has finally occurred. It brings significant changes that may affect your compliance strategy. Our experts can help you with: 

  • Compliance Assessment: Review your current Hazard Communication program for updates you need to make. 
  • Labels and SDSs Updates: Ensure that labels are revised, and Safety Data Sheets are up to date and compliant with the updated standard.  
  • Employee Training: Provide tailored training programs that will ensure your employees are informed on the changes to the hazard communication standard and how it impacts them.  
  • Transition Management: Help you through the changeover period to operate seamlessly while complying with both the old and the new standards. 

Contact us today for compliance assurance and increased workplace safety. With CAPACCIO, you will stay ahead of regulatory changes while protecting your people.