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|Title: 09/21/1994 - The paperwork requirement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS).
|Record Type: Interpretation
|Standard Number: 1910.1200
September 21, 1994
The Honorable Bob Goodlatte
U.S. House of Representatives
640 Crestar Plaza
10 Franklin Road, S.E.
Roanoke, Virginia 24011
Dear Congressman Goodlatte:
This is in further response to your letter of August 10, on behalf of your constituent Mr. John Reed, regarding the paperwork requirement of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS).
Your constituent's inquiry references a requirement of the HCS for material safety data sheets (MSDS). We have enclosed copies of two booklets designed to assist employers in complying with the HCS, entitled "Chemical Hazard Communication," and "Hazard Communication Guidelines for Compliance." We have also enclosed a copy of the current rule, which was updated in a February 9, 1994 Federal Register notice. The requirements of the HCS have been clarified, but not substantially changed, in this rulemaking notice.
The purpose of the HCS is to ensure that employers and employees have ready access to information regarding the hazards of chemicals used in their workplaces. The HCS only applies to hazardous chemicals. The rule is a "performance oriented" standard that gives employers the flexibility to adapt the rule to the needs of the workplace situation, instead of having to follow specific, rigid requirements.
For each hazardous chemical in the workplace, your constituent is required by the HCS (29 CFR 1910.1200(g)) to maintain a copy of the MSDS. As stated above, the rule is performance oriented, establishing what information must be included on the document, but not the specific format in which it must be presented. The MSDS contains valuable information on the hazards of a product, particularly regarding safe handling, clean-up, and first aid procedures.
We hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions please contact the Office of Health Compliance Assistance at (202) 219-8036.
Joseph A. Dear Assistant Secretary
Enclosures: 2 OSHA HAZCOM Booklets, February 9 Federal Register notice
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=21600&p_text_version=FALSE