HazCom is OSHA's most-cited manufacturing area. OSHA's most-cited areas for small chemical producers are Respiratory Protection and Hazard Communication. For larger producers it's the PSM standard, 29 CFR 1910.119, for which OSHA has a National Emphasis Program.
Safety Data Sheets are a key part of systems for compliance with OSHA's Hazard Communication requirements (29 CFR 1910.1200), EU Dangerous Preparations requirements (91/155/EEC, now superseded by REACH), Canadian WHMIS and others. Generally OSHA's requirements have been the least prescriptive (though that is changing), and there's usually a 3-year review/update requirement. With OSHA's lack of mandated format, ANSI's Z400.1 Standard became generally accepted in North America and has since been updated to the GHS format.
Differences among these drove development of the UN harmonization effort, the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. The physical hazards section was led by the transportation sector, Health & Environmental by OECD and Hazard Communication by ILO. Initially adopted in 2002, the current revision 4 was published June 2011; included are pictograms new to most users. Most Asian countries and the EU have adopted this system; OSHA published a Final Rule on March 26, 2012.
OSHA has actively worked with other groups, particularly SCHC, on harmonizing requirements and formats. There is a good GHS comparison on the OSHA website. Additionally, OSHA recognizes that many Safety Data Sheets are inadequate, and has developed an enforcement initiative.
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