U.S., Canada Update Hazardous Chemicals Plan

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 @ 02:09 PM gHale


While already important, awareness of chemical safety is becoming more top of mind and the U.S. and Canada is doing something about it.

That is why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Health Canada — Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau (WHMB) through the Regulatory Cooperation Council, jointly developed a 2016-2017 Workplace Chemicals Work Plan.

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The purpose of the plan is to ensure current and future requirements for classifying and communicating the hazards of workplace chemicals will be acceptable in the United States and Canada without reducing worker safety.

The work plan involves:
• Developing materials to assist stakeholders with implementing the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling (GHS) and understanding the interpretation of technical issues and requirements in Canada and the U.S.
• Coordinating opinions on issues that arise from international discussions on the GHS
• Maintaining alignment between the U.S. and Canadian requirements for implementing the GHS when revisions occur

“This plan is part of ongoing efforts between OSHA and Health Canada to reduce regulatory barriers between U.S. and Canadian systems responsible for chemical safety and provide concise information to protect workers exposed to hazardous chemicals,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.

OSHA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Canada’s Department of Health in 2013. The goal of the MoU is to devise a system, accepted by both countries, that allows the use of one label and one safety data sheet.

OSHA aligned its Hazard Communication Standard with the GHS in March 2012 to provide a common, understandable approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets.

Click here to view a copy of the plan.