Superintendent’s Memo #290-13

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

November 1, 2013

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  OSHA Hazard Communication Standard

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), 29 CFR 1910.1200, to align with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) and published it in the Federal Register in March 2012 (77 FR 17574).  The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) administers a State Plan Program consistent with the provisions of Section 18(e) of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act ("the Act"). Section 40.1-1 of the Code of Virginia, as amended, provides that the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry is responsible in the Commonwealth for administering and enforcing occupational safety and health activities as required by the Act.  OSHA is phasing in the specific requirements over several years (December 1, 2013 to June 1, 2016).  OSHA’s standard will classify chemicals according to their health and physical hazards, and establish consistent labels and safety data sheets for all chemicals made in the United States and imported from abroad.

To meet the first compliance date, December 1, 2013, of the revised HCS, school division personnel, including teachers that handle hazardous chemicals, must have been trained on the minimum required topics related to the label elements.  More detailed information may be found on the OSHA Hazard Communication Web site.

Clement Communications, (, is a resource that has been recommended by OSHA to obtain training on the Hazard Communication Standard.  School divisions may use Perkins funding to provide training and training materials for career and technical education teachers and administrators.

Under separate cover, division- and school-level administrators will be notified of this information.  If you have questions or need additional information, please contact George Willcox, coordinator, planning, administration and accountability, Office of Career and Technical Education Services, via e-mail at, or by telephone at 804-225-2052; or Eric M. Rhoades, director, Office of Science and Health Education, via e-mail at, or by telephone at 804-786-2481.