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OSHA, Health Canada Collaborate on Hazard Communication

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor and Health Canada have developed a "Regulatory Cooperation Council Workplan (Workplace Chemicals)" to promote continued collaboration on implementing the Globally Harmonized System of Classifications and Labelling (GHS). The purpose of this workplan is to reduce regulatory barriers between Canada and the U.S. in classifying and communicating chemical hazards without reducing workplace safety.

The plan originates from a Memorandum of Understanding, which OSHA signed with Canada's Department of Health in 2013. The Memorandum was designed to create a system recognized by both countries that enables the use of one safety data sheet and one label.

The Workplan includes:

  1. Guidance development to support implementation of the GHS and understanding of interpretation of technical issues and requirements in both Canada and the U.S.
  2. Coordination of common positions and participation in international discussions on the GHS.
  3. Maintaining alignment on the GHS implementation.

OSHA's Assistant Secretary of Labor Dr. David Michaels said in a press conference, “This plan is part of ongoing efforts between OSHA and Health Canada to reduce regulatory barriers between U.S. and Canadian systems responsible for chemical safety and provide concise information to protect workers exposed to hazardous chemicals."

For more information, view the Workplan.

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