OSHA Sets Nov. 28 GHS Public Meeting

The aim is to discuss proposals in preparation for the December 2012 24th session of the United Nations Subcommittee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals.

OSHA has set a Nov. 28 public meeting of the U.S. Interagency GHS Coordinating Group to give interested groups and individuals an update on GHS-related issues and to share their views about GHS issues. The meeting at U.S. Labor Department headquarters in Washington, D.C., is part of the group's preparation of proposals for the Dec.12-14, 2012, 24th session of the United Nations Sub-committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals.

GHS is the global, harmonized system of managing chemical exposure risks in the workplace. OSHA adapted its Hazard Communication Standard in March 2012 to GHS and plans to update the standard going forward to ensure it stays consistent as the GHS is revised.

OSHA is an active member of the sub-committee and heads the U.S. delegation for it. One physical hazards item submitted by the United States would add guidance for preventing combustible dust explosions to the GHS. It would add to Section 2 (Hazard identification) of the SDS: "The statement 'May form explosible dust/air mixture if dispersed' is appropriate in the case of a dust explosion hazard." It also would add the italicized portion of the following sentence to Section 5 (Fire-fighting measures): "Provide information on the appropriate extinguishing media. In addition, indicate whether any extinguishing media are inappropriate for a particular situation involving the substance of mixture (e.g., avoid high pressure media which could cause the formation of a potentially explosible dust/air mixture)."

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