By Elizabeth M. Cahill
California Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (Cal-OSHA) revisions to State Standard Title 8, Division 1, Chapter 4, Section 5194 on Hazard Classification makes the state’s regulation substantially similar to the Federal OSHA Hazcom 2012 Final Rule.
These revisions include several terminology changes, for example, updating each instance where “assess the hazards” was used to “classify the hazards”. The term ‘chemical’ is defined as ‘any substance or mixture of substances,’ and replaces ‘substance’ throughout the section. The health hazard definitions that were contained in Appendix A to Section 5194 have been replaced by a reference to Title 29 CFR 1910.1200 Appendix A.
Notably, Cal-OSHA has introduced a requirement where, if a substance or mixture does not meet the criteria for classification but has at least one positive study (conducted in accordance with established scientific principles) with regard to a hazardous effect, “the identity and health effect” of the substance or mixture must be noted on the safety data sheet (SDS).
For classification in California, substances or mixtures which appear on any of the following lists are considered to meet the ‘weight of evidence’ criteria for the applicable hazard endpoint: the list of hazardous substances prepared by the Director pursuant to Labor Code section 6382 and as promulgated in Title 8, California Code of Regulations, Section 339; 29 CFR 1910 Z, Toxic and Hazardous Substances, Occupational Health and Safety, and Health Administration; American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Values (TLVs); California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Article 107, Dusts, Fumes, Mists, Vapors and Gases, and Article 109, Hazardous Substances and processes. The exception is, that based on thorough review of all available evidence, the substance or mixture does not meet the requirements in Appendix A to Section 5194.
These adaptations to the standard became effective May 6, 2014.
Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board (OSHSB) Rule Making: Federal Final Globally Harmonized System – Update to Hazard Communication (Health)
Side-by-side comparison, Section 5194 begins on page 107 http://www.dir.ca.gov/oshsb/GHS_update_to_hazard_communication_–_health_fedfinalrule_SxS.pdf