Does OSHA Consider You a Manufacturer?

I thought I would pass this along during this Safety Week.

With all the new OSHA GHS label and SDS requirements coming down, contractors that make up their chemical mixes out in the field may need to make sure they do not cross the line and become manufacturers in OSHA’s eyes.

The definition of a manufacturer to OSHA is “Companies which blend or mix chemicals must comply with the standard by transmitting the relevant label/MSDS for the components of their mixture (which they, in turn, received in good faith from their suppliers) to their downstream customers.”

So as long as the contractor is the definite end-user and is not handing down, giving (other than their employees for doing their work), or selling their chemical mixture to others (creating downstream customers) then they can use said mixtures but they still must be able to provide their employees with the SDS of the original chemical materials used to make the mixture and label mixture containers to the best of their ability.

They do not have to pay for testing, chemical analysis, or the creation of new SDS for the mixture for their employees. But they need to have some knowledge about what they are doing, for example, what not to mix, and to assume that a hazardous labeled for example “8 Corrosive” chemical when mixed to make a new solution will continue to pass on that “8 Corrosive” characteristic and be treated and labeled as such for use by their employees.

So be sure you label all mixtures no matter where they came from and fight the urge to physically share your greatest new chemical find with your fellow contractors. Better to give them a list of the ingredients and tell them to mix them themselves.

That is all for now, so get back to work and remember to mix safely.