OSHA Considering Petition to Extend June 1, 2015 HazCom / GHS Compliance Deadline for Chemical Manufacturers

At the Society for Chemical Hazard Communication (SCHC) conference today, Sven J. Rundman III, OSHA’s Directorate of Enforcement Programs for the Office of Health Enforcement, announced that OSHA is considering a petition from the American Coatings Association (ACA), cosigned by 8 other associations, seeking temporary relief from the June 1, 2015 HazCom / GHS compliance deadline for the updating of labels and safety data sheets.

According to an article on the ISSA website (one of the associations that has co-signed the petition), the request was sent to OSHA on August 12. The request for relief is due to the difficulty downstream chemical manufacturers are having in obtaining classification data from upstream suppliers of raw materials. The deadline for all chemical manufacturers and distributors to reclassify their chemicals using the newly adopted GHS classification criteria and produce updated MSDSs and labels is June 1, however, the co-signing associations believe downstream users should be given additional time to comply, since their suppliers may legally wait for the deadline.

ISSA says, “The petition lays out three potential options for OSHA that will remedy the current compliance issues for affected regulated entities while still achieving the goals of hazard communication: 1) amend the revised HCS to allow chemical product formulators until June 1, 2017, to comply with the HCS; 2) approve a two-year temporary variance; or 3) apply a de minimis enforcement policy for product formulators for 2 years.”

If accepted, the proposed options would give additional time for well-intentioned formulators to revise SDSs and labels properly, rather than quickly provide inaccurate hazard communication information.  

Rundman says Dr. Michaels has had discussions on the topic and that the matter is under review.

The list of associations signed on to the petition include: American Coating Association (ACA); Adhesive and Sealant Council (ASC); American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA); CropLife America; Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association (ISSA); The National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD); National Association of Manufacturers (NAM); Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE); and the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA).

Stay tuned to MSDSonline for the latest news and for compliance solutions to meet this and other critical Hazard Communication compliance deadlines.