Compliance with OSHA safety regulations not only helps avoid costly fines, it ensures that you are providing a safe working environment for your employees. The J. J. Keller® Compliance Library offers publications to help meet your workplace safety, construction activities and EH&S compliance needs.
Learn what’s relevant to you and how to comply and mitigate risk.
Support your company’s training program and build a safety and compliance culture.
Find out exactly which regulations apply to your company.
Stay current on industry news and regulatory updates.
SIGN UP today to get your free trial access to valuable compliance information. SIGN UP NOW
By: Lisa Neuberger
Publication: Environmental Regulatory Alert
Date Posted: Jan 10, 2020
OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) applies to a wide range of employers who have hazardous chemicals in the workplace. But the HCS does not apply to any RCRA hazardous waste that is subject to EPA regulations. That exception has led to many questions, including whether the HCS applies to certain wastes that are not managed as strictly hazardous wastes under EPA management programs such as universal wastes.
A recently released OSHA letter of interpretation answers that question (in a roundabout way), saying “When waste does not meet the definition of ‘hazardous waste’ under the RCRA regulations, it is covered by the HCS if it meets the standard’s definition of ‘hazardous chemical’ at 29 CFR 1210.1200(c), and if it does not fall under any of the other HCS exemptions.”
The letter explains that EPA’s universal waste regulations at 40 CFR Part 273 streamline the hazardous waste management standards under RCRA for “certain categories” of hazardous waste that are commonly generated by a wide variety of establishments. The four types of federally covered universal wastes are batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing equipment, and lamps.
The question then remains: Is universal waste a hazardous waste that is exempt from OSHA’s HCS?
Answer: Yes. OSHA says universal waste is considered to be hazardous waste under RCRA and is therefore, exempt from the HCS.
However, OSHA says that if you’re claiming the hazardous waste exemption, you must be able to show that the material is covered by RCRA. At the very least, you must be able to show that you’ve labeled the material correctly according to EPA’s regulations.
The letter also addressed state-only regulated universal wastes. Some states allow additional wastes to be managed as universal wastes. For instance, New Jersey allows generators to manage oil-based finishes as universal wastes. Is this state-specific waste also exempted from the HCS?
Answer: No. The HCS exemption only covers universal waste that is defined by the federal RCRA regulations as hazardous waste.
You may also enjoy the following articles:
The Everyday OSHA Safety & Health Management manual provides how-to information and a host of supporting tools (e.g., action steps, checklists, ROI) to help safety professionals create and sustain a robust workplace safety program. View our full library of workplace safety compliance publications.
OSHA Rules for General Industry Manual
"This manual not only saves me time but it's very easy to look up any info in regards to regs and laws."
OSHA Compliance for Construction Activities Manual
"Excellent product! OSHA Compliance for Construction should be required by all construction businesses."
WORKPLACE SAFETY REGULATORY ALERT NEWSLETTER
"I absolutely appreciate the safety advisor newsletters and manual entries as this provides a wealth of information without having to click through several web pages to find what I want."
INSPECTION CHECKLISTS FOR GENERAL INDUSTRY MANUAL
"The training manual keeps me from having to look up all of the many OSHA codes that pertain to my business. Now I can pull out a check list and know that I am compliant."
EMPLOYEE SAFETY MANAGEMENT TODAY NEWSLETTER
"This is a focused well thought out newsletter. The topics are timely and the information detailed. Very good safety managment tool."
OSHA Compliance for General Industry
"This is a very nice asset to aid in our venture of compliance. It has met all our requirements of quality and expectations that one would expect. It shipped nicely and came...
OSHA RULES FOR GENERAL INDUSTRY
"The manual is a very concise and very easy to use, I would recommend it to anyone."
ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLIANCE MANUAL
"This program has provided the information I require to remain in compliance with all standards related to EPA. It has given me the opportunity to update my programs to a level that meets my expectations. Great product that I...