OSHA and the Society for Chemical Hazard Communication renew alliance
Vol. 27 Spring 2012
WASHINGTON – Promoting best practices to reduce worker exposure to hazardous chemicals is the goal of a renewed Alliance between the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Society for Chemical Hazard Communication (SCHC). The renewed Alliance will continue to address hazard communication and to increase awareness of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).
"More than 32 million workers are exposed to 650,000 hazardous chemical products in American workplaces," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels. "Our continued Alliance with the Society for Chemical Hazard Communication will help ensure that workers are aware of the chemical hazards to which they may be exposed, and help reduce chemical-related occupational illnesses and injuries."
During the new two-year agreement, the Alliance will also share information on OSHA's National Emphasis Programs, Regulatory Agenda, and opportunities to participate in the rulemaking process. The Alliance will develop information sheets on the health and physical hazards of chemicals and on the elements that make a GHS label compliant. Through presentations at industry meetings, Webinars, and national safety and health conferences, the Alliance will share information on best practices for protecting workers from the hazards of chemicals.
SCHC represents nearly 500 chemical hazard communication professionals promoting awareness of issues and new developments in hazard communications.
Through the Alliance Program, OSHA works with groups committed to worker safety and health to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries and illnesses. These groups include unions, consulates, trade or professional organizations, faith- and community-based organizations, businesses and educational institutions. OSHA and the groups work together to develop compliance assistance tools and resources, share information with workers and employers, and educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities. Alliance Program participants do not receive exemptions from OSHA programmed inspections.
OSHA's Hazard Communication Web page includes information on OSHA's revised standard, requirements for the new safety data sheets and labels, and the benefits of harmonization.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.