This is mixing at least apples and koala bears, BUT two examples
1. 29 CFR 1910.1200 (f)(1) "The chemical manufacturer, importer, or
distributor shall ensure that each container of hazardous chemicals leaving
the workplace is labeled, tagged, or marked. . . ." Para (f) continues to
require the label meet the format in Appendix C, Allocation of Label
Elements, and all information be located together.
2. 40 CFR 122.22, the certification on NPDES permits (essentially
industrial discharges to surface waters) "I hereby certify under penalty of
law that this document and all attachments were prepared under my direction
or supervision in accordance with a system designed to assure that qualified
personnel properly gather and evaluate the information submitted. Based on
my inquiry of the person or persons who manage the system . . . the
information submitted is to the best of my knowledge and belief true,
accurate, and complete. . ." and more stuff about going to jail for
submitting false information.
Smithfield Foods/ Gwaltney Foods of Smithfield, VA, paid a couple million
dollar fine in the 1990s for violating their discharge permit into the Pagan
River (and Chesapeake Bay). The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, located in
Annapolis, MD, argued successfully they were adversely affected by the
discharge and were given standing to be a party to the case. When it came
time to go to jail, the licensed wastewater treatment operator was found to
have lied on the analytical reports and was convicted and jailed. Coastal
Training (now part of DuPont) made a training video on environmental ethics.
The video consisted in part of a jail-house interview with the former
treatment plant operator. It was interesting viewing.
The point is that at the regulatory level there is clear guidance under the
Clean Water Acts about accuracy and telling the truth. I am not personally
aware of any such guidance in HazCom when preparing SDSs. There MAY be some
liability under REACH but I do not believe that it, if it exists, made the
cut in the adoption of GHS.
George C. Walton, CHMM
Reactives Management Corporation
1025 Executive Blvd., Suite 101
Chesapeake, VA 23320
From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of
Ralph B. Stuart
Sent: Friday, May 16, 2014 3:16 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Chemical safety information liability
I wonder if anyone on the list has knowledge of specific law the assigns, or
cases that have assessed, who is responsible for the accuracy of chemical
safety information provided to uses of those chemicals? I suspect that the
answer would vary by country, perhaps by state, but I'd be interested in
either generic or jurisdiction-specific responses.
My understanding has always been under the OSHA HazComm standard that the
employer is responsible for assessing the quality of the information on an
MSDS before developing training materials about how to work with that
chemical safety. I wonder if the development of the GHS has changed that at
all or if there are cases where the supplier of the chemical has been held
responsible for injuries to workers who use those chemicals?
Thanks for any information on this.
Ralph Stuart CIH
Chemical Hygiene Officer
Department of Environmental Health and Safety Cornell University
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