MSHA: OSHA's HazCom Standard Meets Requirements of Its Standard

The agency's new guidance "reflects MSHA's understanding that many mine operators are meeting OSHA's HazCom Standard," according to the MSHA news release.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration issued guidance Aug. 13 to the mining industry to clarify that if a mine operator meets OSHA's revised Hazard Communication Standard, it is complying with MSHA's HazCom standard. Issued in a program policy letter, it "reflects MSHA's understanding that many mine operators are meeting OSHA's HazCom standard," according to the news release.

"MSHA policy being issued today clarifies that compliance with OSHA's HazCom rule meets the requirements of MSHA's HazCom rule," said Joe Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "We recognize that many mines already receive safety data sheets and labels for hazardous chemicals that are developed in accordance with OSHA's revised standard. We also recognize that mine operators may be required to develop safety data sheets and labels compliant with OSHA's standard in order to transport, import, or export hazardous chemicals because of the transition to the global classification and labeling system.

"This compatibility is a win-win: It reduces the burden of maintaining two separate systems for identifying hazardous chemicals and communication of hazards while providing at least the same protections to miners as MSHA's existing HazCom standard. A single system will also promote consistency with other industries and federal agencies with respect to identification and communication of hazards," he added.

MSHA's standard is found at 30 CFR Part 47.

"While OSHA's HazCom standard is compatible with MSHA's, some aspects of OSHA's hazard classification may not be compatible with other existing MSHA standards, such as storage requirements for hazardous chemicals. Mine operators must comply with all existing MSHA standards concerning hazardous chemicals," the release stated.

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