The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) issued Interim Enforcement Guidance to address the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) concerns on key deadlines under the agency's Hazard Communication Standard 2012 (HCS 2012) rule that took effect June 1. HCS 2012 revises the way chemical hazards are communicated on labels and safety data sheets.
NACD applauds OSHA for taking to heart chemical distributor concerns and for providing this guidance ahead of the June 1 deadline. "The agency's guidance issued late last week allays many of the concerns our members have regarding compliance with the new OSHA requirements, most importantly, that they may continue to ship previously packaged and labeled products," said NACD President Eric R Byer. "Over the last few months, we maintained constant communication with the agency to ensure they understood our concerns, and this guidance document is a direct result of our outreach."
One of NACD members' biggest questions prior to the guidance document was whether they would be able to continue to ship previously stocked products with pre-HCS 2012 compliant labels. While the rule allows "distributors" to continue to ship these products until December 1, 2015, few NACD members qualify as distributors under the rule because they import, blend, formulate, and/or repackage chemical products, which makes them manufacturers according to OSHA. To address this issue, NACD asked for relief and educated OSHA on how the complexity of the industry made it nearly impossible for downstream supply chain members to meet the June 1 deadline.
"We thank OSHA for providing clarification on the new rule for downstream members of the chemical supply chain, and we will continue to work with the agency going forward to ensure our members comply with the new requirements," Byer said.