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The head of OSHA says the agency’s new hazard communication standard may be finalized in the early part of 2012.
However, David Michaels notes the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) won’t go into effect at that time. Like most OSHA regulations, it will take effect some time later, perhaps up to six months after the new standard is made final.
GHS includes criteria for the classification of hazards and specifies the format of material safety data sheets (MSDSs).
The U.S. participated in the development of GHS and is a member of the United Nations group that will coordinate implementation of the system.
GHS is expected to provide standardization of MSDS formats, not only in the U.S., but in other countries as well.
Michaels spoke on Tuesday at the 2011 National Safety Council Congress in Philadelphia.