Two Years Allowed for Training in ‘Right to Understand’ HazCom Rule
|Date Posted: April 13, 2012|
Employers will have until Dec. 1, 2013, to train potentially exposed workers on new warning labels and safety data sheets that conform to a global system for classifying workplace chemical hazards, under a revised rule that Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis called “the right to understand.”
The final rule, which amends the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s longstanding hazard communication standard, is expected to make hazard warnings easier to understand, while easing trade barriers for the U.S. chemical industry.
“As you may know, for almost 30 years, the OSHA hazard communication standard has protected workers by giving them the ‘right to know’ about potential hazards of chemicals in the workplace,” said Solis. “With these changes to the standard, workers will have a better understanding of the possible dangers of substances in their work environment. That’s why we’re calling it ‘the right to understand.’”
The final rule, which takes effect May 25 (77 Fed. Reg. 17574), also amends related HazCom requirements in the laboratory hazardous chemicals standard and in the general industry rules for asbestos, ethylene oxide and formaldehyde, among others.
For more on the HazCom revisions, see the May 2012 OSHA Guide for Health Care Facilities.