On March 25, 2012, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a final rule aligning its Hazard Communication Standard, also known as HCS, HazCom and 1910.1200, with the United Nation's 3rd Revision of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), referred to as the Purple Book (OSHA Final Rule 2012). HazCom covers more than 43 million workers in more than 5 million workplaces and more than 880,000 hazardous chemicals, affecting everyone in the hazardous chemical lifecycle (OSHA Fact Sheet HCS 2012).
OSHA is referring to the revised rule as HazCom 2012 as a way to distinguish it from the iteration it's replacing – HazCom 1994. The final rule went into effect on May 25, 2012, and is followed by a series of four phased-in compliance deadlines. As these deadlines approach, more and more questions begin to surface for EH&S professionals preparing to comply.