"Safety data sheet (SDS)" box which is use to placed chemical characteristic documents that locate in front of chemical storage room. Industrial object photo

Last week, the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) sent a joint letter to U.S. Secretary of Labor Martin J. Walsh and Assistant Secretary of Labor Douglas L. Parker raising concerns over the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) proposed changes to its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) regarding Safety Data Sheets (SDS).

The letter, penned by members of the Council of Chemical Association Executives, raises concerns over proposed changes to Section 2 of the SDS, which would significantly expand the scope of the HCS, add needless complexity and liability to the system, and undermine the HCS’s own goals of seeking to communicate chemical hazard data to assure worker protection.

“NACD members are deeply committed to worker safety and take every step to support the HCS’s goals of providing workers with knowledge and understanding of the chemical hazards in their workplaces,” says NACD President and CEO Eric R. Byer. “But requiring distributors to include any possible downstream hazards in their Safety Data Sheets would further complicate an already thorough process and would be counterproductive to the rule’s goal of providing clear information to workers.”

OSHA’s proposed changes to Section 2 would cause U.S. regulations to conflict with the greater Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals used throughout the world. Rather than facilitating alignment, the change would leave the U.S. rules even more divergent from the global system.

NACD looks forward to working with the Department of Labor and OSHA in implementing a hazard communication system that provides transparent information to workers without additional, unnecessary burden.

The full letter is available here