OSHA Hazcom 2012 Compared with GHS Purple Book
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (Hazcom) establishes the requirements for workplace hazard communication. OSHA has acted to bring the workplace safety standards into compliance with the United Nations Globally Harmonized System (UN GHS). OSHA does not regulate the environmental effects of chemicals (SDS sections 12-13) nor the transportation requirements (SDS section 14).
Although the notice of proposed rule making suggested that the format for all SDSs, for both mixtures and substances, should be aligned with GHS within three years of the effective date of the regulation, and training programs on the new hazard communication elements implemented within two years of the effective data of the regulation, the final rule has set fixed compliance deadlines in the interest of clarity and simplicity. The key dates for implementation are:
- 1 Dec 2013: Employees must be trained on the new label elements and SDS format
- 1 June 2015: All chemicals manufactured after this date must have GHS labels applied and be accompanied by GHS SDS; all modified provisions applicable except allowance for distributors shipping containers in the supply chain as noted below.
- 1 Dec 2015: Distributors shall not ship containers labeled by the manufacturer or importer unless they have a GHS label.
- 1 June 2016: Update alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program as necessary, and provide training for employees on the newly identified physical or health
During the transition period, from 25 May 2012 to the dates noted above, affected parties may comply with either the prior standard or the modified provisions.
DEVIATIONS FROM STANDARD GHS CLASSIFICATIONS
New “OSHA Defined Hazards”:
OSHA introduces three classification types that belong to the set of core OSHA hazard classifications – that is, these may not be treated as “hazards not otherwise classified” in section 2.3 of an SDS but must appear in section 2.1 and 2.2 as classifications with all corresponding hazcom elements (no precautionary statements correspond to these three hazards). These three classifications are:
1. Simple Asphyxiant
- Signal word: Warning
- May displace oxygen and cause rapid suffocation
2. Combustible dust
- Signal word: Warning
- May form combustible dust concentrations in air
- Signal word: Danger
- Catches fire spontaneously if exposed to air
- Pictogram: Flame
Mixture Classification Thresholds
Mixture classifications deviate from the standard GHS wizard classifications in the following respects:
1. Acute Toxicity:
- Category 5 is not addressed by OSHA GHS
2. Skin Corrosion/Irritation:
- Category 3 is not addressed by OSHA GHS
3. Respiratory and Skin Sensitizers:
- Basis is GHS Rev. 3 (i.e. 1A and 1B subcategories are applied).
- Classification threshold is 0.1% of Cat. 1 or 1A and 1% of 1B (versus GHS classification threshold of 0.1% 1A or 1% for 1 or 1B)
- A mixture containing 0.1% of a Cat 2 carcinogen requires classification of the mixture as Carcinogen Cat 2. (Note: GHS standard is classification of a mixture as Carc Cat 2 when a Carc Cat 2 component is contained at or above 1%.)
5. Reproductive toxin:
- Classification threshold is 0.1% of a Cat 1A, 1B, or 2 reproductive toxicant (versus GHS classification threshold of 0.3% for 1A/1B or 3% for Cat 2).
6. STOT SE:
- Classification threshold is 1% of a Cat 1 or 2 STOT SE component (versus GHS classification threshold of 10% for Cat 1 or 1% for Cat 2. The guideline value of 20% for Cat 3 applies in both OSHA and GHS.)
7. STOT RE:
- Classification threshold is 1% of a Cat 1 or 2 STOT RE component (versus GHS classification threshold of 10% for Cat 1 or 1% for Cat 2).
8. Aspiration toxicity:
- Category 2 is not addressed by OSHA GHS (Assuming GHS Rev.3 has been considered due to the inclusion of sensitization subcategories 1A and 1B). The 10% guideline for Cat 1 applies in both OSHA and GHS).
9. Environmental hazards
- Not addressed because these are outside the jurisdiction of OSHA.
Deviations from Standard GHS Label Elements
1. Pictogram precedence:
- Purple Book: “if the skull and crossbones applies, then the exclamation point should not appear.”
- OSHA Haz Com: “if the skull and crossbones applies, then the exclamation point should not appear where it is used for acute toxicity.”