In a November 21, 2012 trade publication issued by Bloomberg BNA concerning OSHA’s new hazard communication standard, Andrew Brought, a Partner in Spencer Fane’s Environmental Practice Group, was quoted concerning whether employers should begin the training process now or wait until closer to the December 2013 deadline.
“It’s great to be ahead of the curve, but there are times when it doesn’t hurt to hold off until things are absolutely certain,” Andrew Brought told BNA. “My recommendation would be to let this play out and make sure the [deadline] date is going to hold and the requirements for training are going to hold. The revised regulations are currently subject to a legal challenge in the D.C. Circuit Court.
By OSHA’s own estimate, over 5 million workplaces across the country will be affected by the revised regulations. OSHA’s March 2012 regulations modify the HazCom Standard to conform to the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). As Brought noted in the August 13, 2012, Environmental Law Solutions Blog, OSHA’s rule changes will standardize the format for safety data sheets and labeling, and also revise criteria for classifying health and physical hazards.