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Hazard determination (Mandatory)
Appendix B to the Hazard Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200
[Note: Annotations made in green text below are tips/commentary by ILPI, not OSHA.]
The quality of a hazard communication program is largely dependent upon the adequacy and accuracy of the hazard determination. The hazard
determination requirement of this standard is performance-oriented. Chemical manufacturers, importers, and employers evaluating chemicals are not
required to follow any specific methods for determining hazards, but they must be able to demonstrate that they have adequately ascertained the
hazards of the chemicals produced or imported in accordance with the criteria set forth in this Appendix.
Hazard evaluation is a process which relies heavily on the professional judgment of the evaluator, particularly in the area of chronic
hazards. The performance-orientation of the hazard determination does not diminish the duty of the chemical manufacturer, importer or employer to
conduct a thorough evaluation, examining all relevant data and producing a scientifically defensible evaluation. For purposes of this standard, the
following criteria shall be used in making hazard determinations that meet the requirements of this standard.
- "Carcinogenicity:" As described in paragraph (d)(4) of this section and Appendix A of this section, a determination by the National
Toxicology Program, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, or OSHA that a chemical is a carcinogen or potential carcinogen will be
considered conclusive evidence for purposes of this section. In addition, however, all available scientific data on carcinogenicity must be evaluated
in accordance with the provisions of this Appendix and the requirements of the rule.
- "Human data:" Where available, epidemiological studies and case reports of adverse health effects shall be considered in the
- "Animal data:" Human evidence of health effects in exposed populations is generally not available for the majority of chemicals
produced or used in the workplace. Therefore, the available results of toxicological testing in animal populations shall be used to predict the health
effects that may be experienced by exposed workers. In particular, the definitions of certain acute hazards refer to specific animal testing results (see Appendix A).
- "Adequacy and reporting of data." The results of any studies which are designed and conducted according to established scientific
principles, and which report statistically significant conclusions regarding the health effects of a chemical, shall be a sufficient basis for a
hazard determination and reported on any material safety data sheet. In vitro (studies done outside a living organism, such as those done in a beaker or test tube) studies alone generally do not form the basis for a definitive finding
of hazard under the HCS since they have a positive or negative result rather than a statistically significant finding.
The chemical manufacturer, importer, or employer may also report the results of other scientifically valid studies which tend to refute
the findings of hazard.
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The official, public domain, OSHA version of this document is available at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=10099&p_text_version=FALSE.