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|Title: 11/01/1992 - Labeling and RCRA requirements and the HCS standard.|
|Record Type: Interpretation||Standard Number: 1910.1200|
November 1, 1992
Ms. Vicki H. Cormier
PPG Industries, Inc.
Post Office Box 1000
Lake Charles, Louisiana 70602-1000
Dear Ms. Cormier:
Thank you for your letter of August 7, requesting clarification and interpretation of the provisions of paragraph (b)(6)(i) of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), 29 CFR 1910.1200.
Before responding to your specific questions, it is important to understand the intent of the HCS. This standard was promulgated to ensure that information regarding health and safety hazards of hazardous materials in the workplace are conveyed to the worker(s) whose responsibility it is to handle that material. This important information is conveyed through employee training, the presence and accessibility of material safety data sheets (MSDSs) for each hazardous chemical and container labeling. The premise of this approach is that workers who understand the hazards associated with a material will be more likely to handle the material in a safe manner.
Hazardous waste is specifically exempted from inclusion under the HCS by subparagraph 1910.1200(b)(6)(i), not because the concept of conveying information to the worker does not apply, but rather because another standard does; i.e., EPA's Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
The following is a presentation of our responses to your questions in the order in which they were raised:
Question: Does this regulation exclude a container (drum) of hazardous waste in a satellite accumulation area that is in the process of being filled but has yet to be moved to an approved hazardous storage area and properly labeled as hazardous waste as outlined in RCRA regulations?|
400,000 MSDS's in your shirt pocket...
Question: Does this regulation exclude drums of waste defined as hazardous materials but not hazardous wastes such as asbestos contaminated waste/PCB- contaminated wastes, etc. that are labeled in accordance with other applicable regulations such as TSCA and RCRA?
The HCS does not grant any exemption for materials regulated under EPA's TSCA.
Answer: Again, if a waste is labeled in accordance with RCRA requirements and is subject to the regulations of that Act, it is not covered under the provisions of the HCS. If this is not a RCRA- covered waste, it would be subject to the requirements of OSHA's HCS, including labeling and all other provisions of the rule.
It is always the employer's responsibility to be able to prove a claimed exemption to OSHA's HCS. With regard to the "hazardous waste exemptions" allowed at (b)(6)(i) of the HCS, the employer must be able to demonstrate that the material is subject to the RCRA regulations. Employers claiming this exemption must be able to produce the appropriate RCRA label and any other RCRA required identification materials to an inspecting OSHA compliance officer.
Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs
The official, public domain, OSHA version of this document is available at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=23423&p_text_version=FALSE