New HAZCOM Update Proposed for Expanded Employee Protection

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently proposed an update on their Hazard Communication Standard (HAZCOM) with the goal that making this revision could help protect employees from illness and exposure.

OSHA continuously looks to further improve the information provided on chemical labels and Safety Data Sheets, and this update would align with the seventh revision of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification (GHS) and Labelling of Chemicals. Individuals may submit comments identified by Docket No. OSHA-2019-0001, electronically at The deadline for submitting comments is April 19, 2021.

Most recently updated in 2012, but stemming all the way back to the first draft in 1983, HAZCOM has set a safety standard for employees working with chemicals for over 35 years. This latest revision hopes to find a new approach to classifying chemicals. In compliance with the update in 2012, which had made chemical labeling and other information much easier to understand, OSHA now wants to make chemical awareness and safety more widespread. OSHA states that they hope employees will become much more conscious of the hazards surrounding them.

It is employer’s responsibility to make sure its workers are safe when handling chemicals, whether it’s in an office setting or a construction site.  HAZCOM courses are available for employers and employees so all involved in a project are certified.