Issue Date: August 20, 2007
OSHA Plans Adoption Of Global System
Manufacturers would have to use a new international system to label chemicals used in U.S. workplaces, according to a rule OSHA intends to make final by the end of 2008. By adopting the Globally Harmonized System of Classification & Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), the agency will alter its workplace hazard communication standard. The international system involves pictograms and specific wording for various chemical hazards (C&EN, May 23, 2005, page 31). OSHA issued a notice in September 2006 about its planned change to the federal hazard communication rule. On Aug. 9, Maureen O'Donnell, OSHA project officer for GHS, said at an industry conference on chemical issues that the agency is drafting a proposed rule to adopt the international system. OSHA is also determining what types of assistance companies will need to comply with the planned changes, she said. The agency is aiming to issue a final GHS rule by December 2008, O'Donnell added. Internationally, countries are trying to adopt GHS by 2008.
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