Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Another subtle attempt to demolish nation-state borders

Some insurance guy came around at work to tell us how to get our insurance-related costs down and, ever since, the plant manager has been tracking down the new Safety Data Sheets that replace the old MSDS in the dusty binder that nobody ever opens.

You heard of this?

It's an effort to "harmonize" safety standards (or purported safety standards, at least) beyond national borders. A Globally Harmonized System, they call it.

Who is doing this? Anybody who wants to save money, dammit.

Hey -- did you vote for this New World Order crap?

On June 19, 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch of the Department of Health of Canada (HECS). Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA signed the partnership agreement with Suzy McDonald, Director General, Workplace Hazardous Materials Directorate, HECS. The MOU allows OSHA and HECS to collaborate on implementing the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) in their respective jurisdictions, and continue to coordinate efforts in any future developments of the GHS.

It promises something for everyone:

Once implemented, the revised standard will improve the quality and consistency of hazard information in the workplace, making it safer for workers by providing easily understandable information on appropriate handling and safe use of hazardous chemicals. This update will also help reduce trade barriers and result in productivity improvements for American businesses that regularly handle, store, and use hazardous chemicals while providing cost savings for American businesses that periodically update safety data sheets and labels for chemicals covered under the hazard communication standard.

Something for everyone. It satisfies both the liberal neurosis to give everybody a little something, and the conservative "king of the hill" psychosis.

What it is -- just like the Common Market was (and the EU still is) and "free trade" agreements, is an attempt to consolidate markets and to consolidate political power and to ultimately circumvent national sovereignty.

And to hoodwink voters as needed, to make it happen.

Q. I understand that the United Nations revises the GHS every two years. How will OSHA manage and communicate changes to the Hazard Communication Standard?

A. It is expected that the GHS will be a living document and is expected to remain up-to-date and relevant; therefore further changes may be adopted on a two year cycle. Presently most of the recent updates have been clarification of text. However, OSHA anticipates that future updates of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) may be necessary and can be done through various rulemaking options, including:
  • Technical updates for minor terminology changes,
  • Direct Final Rules for text clarification, and
  • Notice and Comment rulemaking for more substantive or controversial updates such as additional criteria or changes in health or safety hazard classes or categories.

Or maybe I'm just paranoid.

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