RCC Webinar Seeks Your Input on US/Canada Hazard Communication

To improve the management of chemical hazard communication across borders — and to gather information to help it improve regulatory alignments in the future — the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) will host a free stakeholder webinar on March 3, 2016 at 2pm Eastern Time. The webinar will provide new information about chemical hazard communication between the US and Canada, and also give participants the opportunity to provide their own thoughts on the RCC work plan for 2016-2017.

The RCC is an international partnership whose work informs multiple agencies and administrations in the US and Canada. It was created in February of 2011 when US President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper forged an agreement to strengthen regulatory cooperation between the US and Canada, to bolster trade and commerce by bringing current systems of regulation into closer alignment. According to the White House, the RCC works to engender “closer cooperation between our two countries to develop smarter and more effective approaches to regulation to make the United States and Canadian economies stronger and more competitive, while meeting the fundamental responsibilities to protect the safety and welfare of our citizens.”

Many of the RCC’s efforts have been specific to HazCom and the implementation of GHS. Since its inception, the RCC has worked to strengthen international cooperation on this issue.

In June of 2013, under the auspices of the RCC, OSHA and Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch of the Department of Health of Canada (HECS) signed a memorandum of understanding which empowered OSHA and HECS to collaborate on the implementation of GHS and to coordinate directly on how GHS would be rolled-out in both countries in the future. (The upcoming March webinar is a direct extension of this joint commitment.)

Then in May of 2015, the US and Canada announced another partnership, this time to coordinate GHS labeling requirements. The ultimate goal of this agreement was “to implement a system allowing the use of one label and one safety data sheet that would be acceptable in both countries.” The partnership sought to reduce and eventually eliminate inconsistencies between US and Canadian labeling, while still providing “concise information to protect workers exposed to hazardous chemicals without reducing current protections.”

The RCC has made events for obtaining stakeholder input a regular part of its process. In 2012 and 2013, the RCC held public dialog sessions to help it coordinate its future work plans.

The current work plan for the implementation of GHS in the US and Canada can be viewed here.  OSHA has created an online docket to capture both US and Canadian stakeholder comments here.

To participate in the March 3 webinar, use the following credentials:

 

Meeting Number: 749 259 916

Meeting Password: Welcome!25

 

To join the online meeting:

1. Go to:  https://dolevents.webex.com/dolevents/onstage/g.php?MTID=e9b61ecdba78b1d1411e2660caef40810

2. If requested, enter your name and email address.

3. If a password is required, enter the meeting password: Welcome!25

4. Click "Join".

 

To join the teleconference only:

Call-in toll-free number (Verizon): 1 888-810-5906 (U.S. & Canada)

Call-in number (Verizon): 1-773-756-4805 (U.S. & Canada)

Attendee access code: 4111085

 

There is no limit to the number of participants who will be able to join the webinar. During the webinar, participants will be able to send questions live using the whiteboard.

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