WASHINGTON — To better protect workers from hazardous chemicals, the U.S. Department of Labor''s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has revised its Hazard Communication Standard, aligning it with the United Nations'' global chemical labeling system, according to a press release.
The new standard, once implemented, will prevent an estimated 43 deaths and result in an estimated $475.2 million in enhanced productivity for U.S. businesses each year, the release stated.
"Exposure to hazardous chemicals is one of the most serious dangers facing American workers today," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis.
"Revising OSHA''s Hazard Communication Standard will improve the quality, consistency and clarity of hazard information that workers receive, making it safer for workers to do their jobs and easier for employers to stay competitive in the global marketplace," Solis added.
According to the release, the Hazard Communication Standard, being revised to align with the United Nations'' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, will be fully implemented in 2016 and benefit workers by reducing confusion about chemical hazards in the workplace, facilitating safety training and improving understanding of hazards, especially for low-literacy workers.
During the transition period to the effective completion dates noted in the standard, chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers may comply with either 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1910.1200 (the final standard), the current standard or both, the release noted.
Click here to read the complete release.