OSHA partners with Health Canada to coordinate labelling and classification requirements for hazardous workplace chemicals
Goal of partnership to implement system allowing one label and one safety data sheet
By Jesse Lawder
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that it will continue their partnership with Health Canada to align United States and Canadian regulatory approaches regarding labelling and classification requirements for workplace chemicals through the Regulatory Cooperation Council.
“We work in a global environment with varying and sometimes conflicting national and international requirements,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Through this partnership, OSHA and Health Canada will work together to reduce inconsistencies among hazard communication regulations and provide concise information to protect workers exposed to hazardous chemicals without reducing current protections.”
The goal of the partnership is to implement a system allowing the use of one label and one safety data sheet that would be acceptable in both countries. OSHA and Health Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2013 to promote ongoing collaboration on implementing the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling in their respective jurisdictions.
OSHA aligned its Hazard Communication Standard with the GHS in March 2012 to provide a common, understandable approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets. Canada published a similar regulation in February 2015.
OSHA’s Hazard Communication Web page includes links to the agency’s revised Hazard Communication Standard and guidance materials such as frequently asked questions, fact sheets and Quick Cards.
About the Author
Jesse Lawder is the Special Assistant at U.S. Department of Labor.