OSHA Draft Document on Potential Chemical Health Hazards

OSHA recently published a draft guidance document intended to help manufacturers, importers, and employers consider all available information when classifying hazardous chemicals.

The draft guidance describes the “weight of evidence” approach, which helps employers and others evaluate complex scientific studies on the potential health hazards of chemicals and determine the information that must be disclosed on labels and safety data sheets (SDS) to comply with OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard.

The draft document also outlines the types of information to consider when classifying a substance for health hazards; ways to evaluate the strength of evidence in classification; the scope and use of weight of evidence; and considerations in the use of weight of evidence in accordance with the HazCom Standard.

OSHA’s press release states: “[These] recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content, and intended to educate scientists and non-scientists alike who prepare labels and SDSs so that they provide accurate and consistent information.

OSHA seeks public comment about whether the document provides classifiers with an overview of how to approach a weight of evidence evaluation using the criteria adopted under the HazCom Standard.

Several other questions are listed on the OSHA Web page about the request for public comment.