PHMSA and OSHA Prep for UN Experts Meetings

Posted on 6/11/2019 by Roger Marks

On Thursday, June 20, US DOT and OSHA will both hold public meetings in preparation for United Nations meetings in Geneva, Switzerland, where the agencies represent US interests on the subjects of chemical safety and hazardous materials transportation.

UN Sub-Committee of Experts on GHS

OSHA is preparing for the 37th session of the UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Globally Harmonized System of Classifying and Labeling Chemicals, or GHS. During the meeting, to be held on June 20 from 1—4 PM ET at DOT headquarters in Washington DC, OSHA will collect stakeholder feedback to inform the US government positions at the UN.

OSHA adopted elements from the 3rd edition of the GHS into its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) in 2012, in order to harmonize US chemical labeling and Safety Data Sheets (SDS) with international standards. Most recently, the UN completed work on the seventh edition of the GHS.

OSHA is working on a long-term rulemaking project to bring its HCS up to date with the latest GHS requirements, and expects to propose a rule before the end of the year.

Need to train employees to recognize and use new GHS hazard labels and safety data sheets? The Hazard Communication Online Course is updated to cover the latest OSHA requirements for protecting and training workers who handle hazardous chemicals.

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UN Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods

PHMSA’s meeting will be held the same day and same location, from 9:00 AM—12:00 PM ET. PHMSA is requesting public feedback on potential new work items that may be added to the international agenda. PHMSA will also provide an update on “recent actions to enhance transparency and stakeholder interaction.”

PHMSA is planning a major rulemaking, HM 215-O, to (again) harmonize US hazardous materials transportation standards with the latest international requirements. HM 215-O was proposed in November 2018, and a Final Rule is expected in September 2019.

In addition to the pre-UN meeting, PHMSA will host a meeting on June 17 to receive and respond to stakeholder input on the development of the 2020 Emergency Response Guide (ERG).

Details or joining the UN preparation meetings via teleconference can be found at PHMSA’s website.

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Tags: hazard communication, hazmat shipping, osha, PHMSA, safety training

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