The content of a memorandum published by OSHA in February contains critical information for any corporation who has encountered seemingly insurmountable hurdles on the path to GHS compliance.

• WHO: Applies to manufacturers, distributors, importers, and product formulators
• WHAT: How OSHA plans to cope with noncompliance after June 1
• WHEN: There are 5 criteria to determine if a corporation has met the due diligence/ ‘good faith’ effort
• WHY: OSHA recognizes that corporations are dependent on upstream suppliers

There are five primary conditions that must be met by a corporation in order to prove that a ‘good faith’ effort was made. If clearly proven through written documentation, a corporation may be eligible for a substantial extension to the June 1 deadline for conversion from the MSDS to GHS-compliant SDS format. Corporations who are eager to prove that the ‘good faith’ exemption applies to their situation must be able to retrieve and produce oral and written communication with upstream suppliers. We’ve framed the five conditions as questions for your convenience:

Has the corporation…
1. Documented requests for information to upstream suppliers?
2. Developed efforts to find hazard information from alternate sources?
3. Provided a written account of the dialogue with upstream suppliers, including copies of all relevant communication?
4. Provided a written account of dialogue with distributors and dated copies of all relevant communication regarding why compliance is unattainable?
5. Implemented a course of action to make necessary changes?

Be aware that the ‘good faith’ doctrine does not apply to everyone. OSHA clearly articulates which manufacturers and distributors of mixtures are eligible for an extension, and how long their extensions may be. Downstream manufactures of mixtures must create an SDS within 6 months from the time that they receive all hazardous information for ingredients in a mixture, according to section 1910.1200(g)(5) of the OSHA regulations. Manufacturers can continue using the 1994-compliant MSDSs and labels up until December 1, 2017 if they’ve met the 5 criteria outlined above and proven “good faith.” If a manufacturer has requested AND received all of the information, then they must immediately implement GHS-compliant SDSs and labels.

Distributors have until December 15, 2015 to complete conversions under HazCom 2012. OSHA recognizes that this process may, in certain situations, be extended to December 1, 2017 – provided distributors have documentation to prove that have been hindered by circumstances outside out their control.

It’s important to note that this memorandum only provides exemptions for OSHA violations, and that it only applies to exemptions as related to the HCS 2012 generation of SDS’s and labels. Here at Quantum, we advise all clients to be aware of the fact that stopped shipments from suppliers and distributors who are unwilling to accept outdated MSDSs and labels are also viable consequences to GHS noncompliance. For more information, please refer directly to the memorandum published by OSHA, or shoot us an email at!

For more information on the memorandum, please visit: