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|Title: 03/04/2014 - Application of OSHA's Amended Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012) to Combustible Dust (1910.1200)|
|Record Type: Interpretation||Standard Number: 1910.1200|
March 4, 2014
Erik C. Baptist
American Petroleum Institute
1220 L Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
Re: Request for Interpretation of Application of OSHA's Amended Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012) to Combustible Dust
Dear Mr. Baptist:
This letter is being issued to API to clarify how the March 26, 2012, revisions to OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012 ) apply to combustible dust. Below I summarize each of your questions and provide our response to it.
when it provides further detail and does not contradict or cast doubt on the validity of the standardized hazard information.OSHA views either of the alternatives you propose as falling within C.3.1 because they provide additional detail and do not contradict or cast doubt on the validity of the required hazard statement where the chemical does not present a combustible dust hazard in the form shipped. Similarly, the required elements listed in Appendix D for SDSs are the minimum information required and OSHA believes that additional information that satisfies C.3.1 may be included in Section 2 of the SDS if the additional information concerns hazard identification. Therefore, it would be acceptable to OSHA if responsible parties included either alternative in conjunction with the required hazard statement on labels and SDSs for such chemicals.
This product is not hazardous in the form in which it is shipped by the manufacturer, but may become hazardous through downstream activities (e.g. grinding, pulverizing) that reduce its particle size. Those hazards are described below.OSHA RESPONSE: Yes. These types of additional statements may be added to the SDS so long as they are relevant and do not contradict or cast doubt on the validity of the classification or other information in the SDS.
(1) The one-time label rule of Section 1910.1200(f)(4) applies when the product is a solid metal, solid wood, solid plastic or whole grain, and is not limited to chemicals whose only downstream hazard is the combustible dust hazard. In addition, under footnote 2 to C.4.30, the Section 1910.1200 (f)(4) exemption is also available to other products, including liquids, that present only a combustible dust hazard under normal conditions of use and foreseeable emergencies, but not in the form shipped (as discussed in section 3.c of this letter above).
(2) In situations where a chemical is not a combustible dust in the form shipped, but may become one when processed or handled by a downstream user, and the responsible shipper-party provides the one-time container label in accordance with Section 1910.1200(f)(4), the downstream user's obligation to label any workplace containers of that chemical are determined as follows:
(a) If the chemical will not be processed or handled in a way that creates a combustible dust hazard or any other hazard that would be classified under HCS 2012 , there is no Section 1910.1200(f)(6) labeling requirement.
(b) If the chemical will first be placed in a stationary process container (e.g., grinder) where it will be processed in a way that creates a combustible dust hazard, the downstream user would be required to label the stationary process container with the Section 1910.1200(f)(6) label, or may comply with the alternative labeling methods provided by Section 1910.1200(f)(7), and need not label the shipping container.
(c) If the chemical will first be placed in a non-stationary process container where it will be processed in a way that creates a combustible dust hazard, the downstream user would be required to label the non-stationary process container with the Section 1910.1200(f)(6) label, but not the shipping container.
(d) If the chemical will be processed or handled in a way that creates a combustible dust hazard before it is placed in a process container, the chemical would be subject to the Section 1910.1200(f)(6) labeling requirement once the chemical is brought into the work area where it will be processed in a way to create the combustible dust hazard. If the chemical is not in a container when brought into the area where it will be processed, no Section 1910.1200(f)(6) labeling would be required prior to processing.
(e) Finally, the workplace labeling requirements in Section 1910.1200(f)(6) apply only to chemicals that are in containers2 . Thus, individual boards or pipes that might create a combustible dust hazard when cut do not need to be labeled under Section 1910.1200 (f)(6). It is permissible (and OSHA encourages) the use of signs or placards to advise workers of the hazard in such circumstances, but signs and placards are not required.
Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health. We hope you find this information helpful. OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards, and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be superseded by changes to OSHA rules, including but not limited to future revisions to the Hazard Communication Standard and the adoption of a standard concerning combustible dust.
David Michaels, Ph.D, MPH
cc: Lawrence P. Halprin, Esq.
Keller and Heckman LLP
Attorney for API
1 In this letter, the term "responsible party" refers to a person required by HCS 2012 to provide labels and SDSs to downstream users.
2 OSHA provides further guidance on what it considers to be a container under the HCS in its directive entitled Inspection Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard, CPL 2-2.38D , March 20, 1998 [in context: CPL 2-2.38D | current regulation: CPL 02-02-079].
The official, public domain, OSHA version of this document is available at http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=28949&p_text_version=FALSE