The new Hazard Communication Standard (HCS or HAZCOM) incorporating the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) passed its final hurdle this week when the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) cleared it; it is now expected to be published by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) within two weeks.

OSHA has been working on this new standard for a long time, having first issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in 2006.

Incorporating GHS will mean that chemical companies in the United States will employ the same symbols and wording on their packages as do the other members of the United Nations, all signatories to the GHS.