OSHA issues Inspection Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012)

This Instruction outlines the changes in enforcement due to the release of the revised HCS published in the Federal Register on March 26, 2012. The revised standard changes “hazard determination” to the specific requirements for hazard classification of chemicals, standardizes label elements for containers of hazardous chemicals, and specifies the format and required content for SDSs. This Instruction also covers how the revised standard is enforced during its transition period and after the standard is fully implemented. Chemicals must be evaluated in accordance with specific guidance outlined in Appendices A and B of the standard.

The hazard classification will result in the specification of pictograms, signal word, hazard statements, and precautionary statements which must be included on the labels. Specifications for these label elements are provided in Appendix C of the standard. The SDSs will have a standardized 16-section format (see Appendix D of the standard) and includes the information from the hazard classification (e.g., hazard class, pictogram).

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