NACD comments on OSHA chemical classification system

Late in December 2009, the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) provided formal comments on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

NACD supports the overall goals of the GHS, which would not only improve hazard communications for employers and employees, but also would improve efficiencies throughout the entire chemical distribution industry. However, NACD does have concerns regarding the limited time chemical distribution companies have to make the transition toward the GHS.

Specifically, NACD has requested that OSHA grant chemical distributors an additional 18 months after the three-year phase-in period to allow for the most efficient GHS implementation.

"There are many long-term benefits for employers, employees, and the chemical distribution industry under OSHA's proposed GHS," said NACD President Chris Jahn. "But requiring small chemical distributors to make the transition at the same time as chemical suppliers could create problems, like a bottleneck in the supply chain. Small chemical distributors in particular just might not have the resources that larger suppliers have to complete the transition in time.

"If there is to be a real benefit for employers and employees, we need to make sure we get this transition right," said Jahn. "An additional 18 months for chemical distribution companies to comply is in the interest of everyone who wants to see the GHS work effectively."

Visit www.nacd.com/advocacy/comments.aspx to view NACD's full comments to OSHA.

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