Posted by Selerant EHS on 1/04/2019

The OSHA interpretation

Duties of the importer according to HazComOSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is the USA organisation responsible of the HazCom regulation. OSHA publishes on its website a number of Standard Interpretations, a series of Q&A that give further clarification on some HazCom topics.

One of the topics of the interpretation that we will see today concerns the identification of the responsible party and the communication of its contact information in SDS. OSHA defines who is the responsible party when importing chemicals in the USA, and what contact information must be present in SDS section 1.

The response to question 2 of this OSHA interpretation clarifies that "The first U.S. company (importer/distributor) to receive the shipment from the foreign supplier is now the responsible party for that chemical.".

The response to question 1 specifies that "Section 1 of the SDS must include the name, address, and telephone number of the manufacturer, importer, or other responsible party. Section 1 must also include an emergency phone number. The address must be in the United States, and the phone number must be a domestic number" and a "foreign address [...] may be listed in Section 1 if the responsible party believes they may be able to provide additional supplemental information and is done in a fashion that does not cause confusion".

Moreover, the response to question 11 clarifies that "The emergency telephone number must be U.S. based".

This OSHA interpretation also gives information concerning HNOC (Health Hazards Not Otherwise Classified) and labelling.

You can access this OSHA interpretation at this link:

Newsletter 119

Topics: North America

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