OSHA recently published a final regulation that requires manufacturers, distributors, importers, and employers to make changes to their Material Safety Data Sheets (SDS) pursuant to the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) by June 2015. Failure to follow the new regulation may expose companies to OSHA fines up to $70,000 per violation, and to litigation from end users or other parties in the supply chain.

The new regulations require SDS to follow a consistent, standardized 16-section format. Manufacturers and importers also are required to classify chemicals to determine the hazard class and subcategory into which they fall (i.e., skin corrosion/irritation; serious eye damage/eye irritation; reproductive toxicant). Testing is not required in order to classify chemicals, but the “full range of available scientific literature and other evidence concerning potential hazards” must be considered. Labels must include a signal word, pictogram, hazard statement, and precautionary statement for each hazard class and category.
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