Update to the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard

June 18, 2024

Update to the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard – Chemscape Safety Technologies.

The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recently updated the Hazard Communication Standard (Hazcom), aligning it with the 7th revision of the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). These updates, effective from July 19, 2024, bring significant improvements to workplace safety and chemical handling protocols.  

Revised Workplace Safety Measures & Chemical Handling Protocols

Key changes to the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard include: 

  • Enhanced Labels: Labels on small containers are now more readable and comprehensive, ensuring better understanding for end-users.  
  • Improved Trade Secret Disclosure: Workers and first responders will receive critical hazard information on Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) through improved disclosure of trade secrets.  
  • Clearer Hazard Classification: A revised hazard classification process provides more accurate information on labels and SDSs.  
  • Revised Classification Criteria: Certain hazard categories, including aerosols, desensitized explosives, and flammable gases, have updated classification criteria for improved safety procedures.  
  • New Hazard Category: "Chemicals Under Pressure" has been introduced within the aerosols class.  
  • Updated Precautionary Statements: Clear guidance on handling, storage, and disposal of hazardous chemicals has been provided.  
  • Alignment with Federal Agencies and Canada: The standard now aligns more closely with other federal agencies and Canadian regulations. 

Compliance Deadlines for Manufacturers & Employers 

  • Manufacturers of hazardous substances have 18 months to comply with the new Hazard Communication Standard, while manufacturers of mixtures have 36 months.  
  • Employers have until July 20, 2026, to update alternative workplace labeling, hazard communication programs, and provide additional employee training.  

What the Update Means for Our Clients 

This revision will affect chemical hazard classes and specific details related to chemical classification and SDS information. Manufacturers may need to reclassify their products, update SDSs, and provide new container labels. Employers should verify their inventory, accept updated SDSs, and communicate any hazard changes through HazCom training.

How Chemscape Safety Technologies Can Help

We will ensure your electronic inventory is kept current by contacting manufacturers at least every 3 years, notify you of outdated or updated SDS, and provide you with access to updates received from every new SDS upload.  Chemscape also offers manufacturers and employers SDS and label Authoring Services through Deerfoot Consulting. Contact us for HazCom training or written HazCom programs to ensure compliance and safety in your workplace.