DG Digest: OSHA Strengthens Chemical Safety Standards with Major Revision to Hazard Communication Rule

The third week of May finds the country preparing for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday period. As the unofficial kick-off to the summer season, let’s be sure to focus on a safe and enjoyable holiday. Let’s also take time next weekend to remember the real purpose of the holiday and give thought to our fallen veterans as we recall their sacrifices. Last week’s quite busy regulatory news featured a major action by OSHA regarding the Hazard Communication Standard, so let’s jump right in:


In a major action, the agency published a new final rule revising the Hazard Communication Standard, or HCS (29 CFR 1910.1200). The HCS is the primary chemical safety and notification rule that governs American industry’s treatment of the subject. It has been aligned with the International Global Harmonized System (GHS) since 2012. OSHA’s action here is the first major revision to the regulation in a number of years. Highlights of the new rule include:

  • Updates to incorporations by reference
  • Closer alignment with the GHS; primarily Rev.7, with some alignment with Rev. 8
  • Adding classification categories for aerosols, desensitized explosives, and flammable gases
  • Updating select hazard and precautionary statements for clearer and more precise hazard information
  • New and updated pictograms labels
  • Addressing issues identified in practical implementation of the 2012 HCS (usability)
  • Updating labeling requirements for small containers
  • Updating labeling requirements for packaged containers that have been released for shipment or that constitute bulk shipping
  • Revisions to the process for allowing the withholding of concentration ranges of substances for reasons related to trade secrets
  • Clarifying issues surrounding the classification process for materials, particularly toxics and corrosives
  • Updates to requirements for Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
  • Incorporating a variety of regulatory changes which had previously been addressed via Letters of Interpretation

There are, of course, many details in the rule well beyond the scope of the above summary, so be sure to review the rule itself for the full scope of the changes.

Also, and in a rather less sensational action, the agency published an ICR related to its powered industrial truck standard.

Transport Canada

The Ministry has published a new guidance bulletin that provides explanatory information for how to use and interpret the TDGR’s requirements for Labelling and Placarding. While very broadly similar to US regulations governing the4 same requirements, the TDGR does have some unique national differences. As such, if your company ships from or within Canada, it would be worth taking a look at the Ministry’s revised guidance. Note that as guidance, the bulletin does not change the TDGR regulations. See the bulletin here.


The agency published its latest tranche of special Permit (SP) actions. As usual, they mainly concern unique packaging and one-time transport situations requiring a deviation from the HMR. See the actions here:

2024-10572.pdf (govinfo.gov)

2024-10570.pdf (govinfo.gov)

2024-10571.pdf (govinfo.gov)


EPA is planning to submit (A) ‘‘TSCA Existing Chemical Risk Evaluation and Management; Generic ICR for Interview and Focus Groups’’ (B) ‘‘TSCA Existing Chemical Risk Evaluation and Management; Generic ICR for Surveys’’ as ICR’s. Both represent the renewal of existing ICRs that are currently approved through February 28, 2025. See details here.


In a notice revising the CDL Young Driver pilot program, FMCSA will no longer require motor carriers wishing to participate in the SDAP Program to install or use inward facing cameras. Additionally, motor carriers will not be required to obtain a Registered Apprenticeship number from the Department of Labor before they will be allowed to participate in the SDAP Program. Find further details here.

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