OSHA Announces Informal Public Hearing on Hazard Communication Rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will hold three informal public hearings to accept comments and testimony on the proposed rule to align the agency’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).

The first hearing will begin March 2 at 9:30 a.m. in the auditorium of the U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210. Additional hearings are scheduled for March 31 in Pittsburgh and April 13 in Los Angeles. OSHA will provide the location for the Pittsburgh and Los Angeles hearings in a future notice.

A number of countries, including the United States, and international organizations participated in developing the GHS to address inconsistencies in hazard classification and communications. The system provides a single, harmonized system to classify chemicals, labels and safety data sheets with the primary benefit of increasing the quality and consistency of information provided to workers, employers and chemical users.

Those interested in attending the hearings must provide a notice of intention to appear by January 18, 2010. Notices may be submitted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Notices can also be submitted by regular mail to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-H022K-2006-0062, U.S. Department of Labor, Room N-2625, 200 Constitution Ave., Washington, D.C. 20210. Submissions not exceeding 10 pages can be faxed to the OSHA Docket Office at 202-693-1648.

Technical inquiries should be directed to Maureen Ruskin, OSHA, Office of Chemical Hazards-Metals, 202-693-1950. Press inquiries should be directed to Jennifer Ashley, OSHA, Office of Communications, 202-693-1999.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA’s role is to assure safe and healthful working conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.