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The Long-Anticipated OSHA Hazard Communication Standard

The Long-Anticipated OSHA Hazard Communication Standard

It is finally here! The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule to update the agency’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). On May 20, 2024, OSHA created the final rule, which will take effect on July 19, 2024. According to OSHA’s Proposed Rulemaking to Amend the Hazard Communication Standard, these changes will increase awareness about health and safety and intend to reduce incidents related to hazards in the workplace.

The last update, which took place in 2012 when OSHA integrated with the United Nations version of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), was based on version 3. With the amendment, OSHA will be aligned with version 7. This alignment will introduce many revisions to the regulations when compared to that of the older version. These revisions include changes to classification criteria, small containers, specifically fold out tags, rules, and exemptions that apply to container sizes such as 100 mL and 3 mL, trade secrets, technical amendments to safety data sheets (SDSs), and to definitions. A side-by-side comparison of the old regulations compared to the new regulations can be found here. These new changes will require updated training for all stakeholders as well as updating all existing SDS to comply with the new regulations.

As of May 20, 2024, all organizations can comply with either the new current standard or continue to use the old standard based on 29 CFR 1910.1200.  A transitional period has been outlined in the final rule stating the following based on substances and mixtures and who is responsible for these changes with a designated timeline of completion. 

  Date Required  Responsibility  Items to Update 
Substances  January 19, 2026  Manufacturers, importers, and distributors  Labels 
Safety Data Sheets 
July 20, 2026  Employers  Workplace labeling
Hazard workplace communication
Provide training 
Mixtures  July 19, 2027  Manufacturers, importers, and distributors  Labels
Safety Data Sheets 
January 19, 2028  Employers  Workplace labeling
Hazard workplace communication 
Provide training 

By updating to the new version 7 it will align with other trading partners such as Canada, Australia and Europe who are already adopted version 7 into their regulations for hazard communication. This alignment with other countries provides a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information.

ICC Compliance Center has a team of full-time Regulatory Experts who have years of experience and are certified/recognized in their field of expertise. Contact us about authoring, reformatting, updating, and translating your SDSs. Ask us your tough questions by calling 855.734.5469 or send us an email, we’re happy to help.

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Rick Mastroianni

Rick Mastroianni joined the ICC Regulatory Experts team in 2022. He has many years of experience as an SDS Author, including preparing regulatory-compliant label text for product applications. His regulatory knowledge includes OSHA, WHMIS, CCCR, and EU CLP. Currently, his primary focus with our Regulatory Experts team is the creation of safety data sheets and labels for the different jurisdictions in North America and Europe.