OSHA has outlined “good faith” requirements for chemical manufacturers struggling to meet the June, 1, 2015 HazCom deadline regarding new Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and labeling requirements.
According to an OSHA enforcement memorandum released in February, some manufacturers may not be cited to immediately comply, while they await accurate information from the raw-material providers. OSHA will exercise its enforcement discretion to allow for a reasonable time period for manufacturers or importers to come into compliance; however upstream raw-material suppliers who do not have compliant SDSs or labels could be cited.
In order to determine if a manufacturer or importer has established reasonable diligence and good faith efforts to comply with HazCom 2012 – and therefore avoid citations – a manufacturer or importer must provide documentation of its substantive efforts to:
- Obtain classification information and SDSs from upstream suppliers
- Find hazard information from alternative sources (e.g. chemical registries)
- Classify the data themselves
Establishing reasonable diligence and good faith effort requires that the manufacturer or importer demonstrate attempt to obtain the necessary SDSs through both oral and written communication directly with the upstream supplier.
For each mixture shipped by a manufacturer or importer after June 1, 2015 that does not comply with HCS 2012, the following considerations will be made. Did the chemical manufacturer or importer:
Develop and document the process used to gather the necessary classification information from its upstream suppliers and the status of such efforts
Develop and document efforts to find hazard information from alternative sources (e.g., chemical registries)
Provide a written account of continued dialogue with its upstream suppliers, including dated copies of all relevant written communication with its upstream suppliers
Provide a written account of continued dialogue with its distributors, including dated copies of all relevant written communication with its distributors informing them why it has been unable to comply with HCS 2012
Develop the course of action it will follow to make the necessary changes to SDSs and labels