Magazine article Occupational Hazards

OSHA Stays Hazcom Provisions of Formaldehyde Standard

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

OSHA Stays Hazcom Provisions of Formaldehyde Standard

Article excerpt

OSHA stays hazcom provisions of formaldehyde standard OSHA stays hazcom provisions of formaldehyde standard: OSHA has issued an administrative stay of four hazard communication requirements of its formaldehyde standard until September 13. In addition, the agency will propose to revoke these provisions and substitute its generic hazard communication standard in their stead.

While the new rulemaking is being completed, employers will be required to comply with provisions of the hazard communication standard for warning workers about workplace hazards associated with formaldehyde exposure.

The four stayed provisions, which are similar to the hazard communication standard's requirements, would have prescribed information required on hazard warning labels and on material safety data sheets. The other provisions of the standard, which took effect in February 1988, remain in effect.

The agency's action came in response to a request by the Formaldehyde Institute (FI), a trade association of users and manufacturers of formaldehyde and formaldehyde products. FI petitioned the agency for an administrative stay following publication of OSHA's revised formaldehyde standard in December 1987. The institute objected to the standard's requirement of cancer-hazard labeling for gases, mixtures, and solutions composed of more than 0.1 percent formaldehyde, and materials that may emit formaldehyde at levels above 0.1 parts per million parts of air.

The four provisions in question fail to achieve the formaldehyde standard's objective of providing "substantially equivalent worker protection as the hazard communication standard, but with more objective criteria tailored to the properties of formaldehyde," OSHA said. …

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