Second HazCom Standard Hearing Next Week

The "informal" public hearing will take place at the Marriott Pittsburgh City Center; OSHA decided to cancel a second hearing in Los Angeles.

An OSHA plan to issue a new standard or revise an old one usually generates acrimony or lawsuits, but the proposed changes to the Hazard Communication Standard might be an exception. OSHA announced last December that it would hold informal public hearings on the plan in Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, and Los Angeles. The Los Angeles one has been cancelled because few people signed up to speak.

The Washington hearing took place March 3, with ORC Senior Vice President Frank White and EHS Networks Director Ann Brockhaus testifying in support of OSHA's plan to align the HazCom Standard with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. White thanked the agency for making GHS a priority and called the alignment "an important step in making OSHA a global leader in safety and health."

HazCom is the standard that usually results in the highest number of citations issued to employers, and experts believe the alignment is a good move that will saddle end users and chemical manufacturers with a major compliance headache early on.

The Pittsburgh hearing will begin at 9:30 a.m. EDT on March 31 at the Marriott Pittsburgh City Center, 112 Washington Place.

Comments, submissions, and other material about the proposal are available in Docket No. OSHA-H022K-2006-0062 at www.regulations.gov. For technical information about the proposal, contact Maureen Ruskin in OSHA's Office of Chemical Hazards-Metals, Room N-3718, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20210, telephone 202-693-1950.

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