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Safety

OSHA seeks input on implementing global system

September 18, 2006 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 84, ISSUE 38

OSHA last week took the first regulatory step toward implementing the Globally Harmonized System of Classification & Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). On Sept. 12, the agency formally asked for public input into an upcoming proposal that would modify its workplace hazard communication standard by incorporating GHS pictograms and wording (May 23, 2005, page 31). That standard requires manufacturers to provide material safety data sheets for chemical products. The planned changes to the standard, OSHA said, would have the greatest impact on makers, importers, and distributors of substances covered by the hazard communication standard. The agency asked companies to volunteer information-such as the number of chemicals they produce that are covered by the standard-that will help OSHA in developing the proposed rule. OSHA Administrator Edwin G. Foulke Jr. says the planned modifications would bring more consistency and clarity, both on a national and international basis, to regulation of hazardous chemicals in the workplace. Countries around the world have set a goal for as many governments as possible to adopt GHS by 2008.

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