WASHINGTON — The National Paint & Coatings Association announced that it is revising its Hazardous Materials Identification System (HMIS), and said the revisions are expected to be completed in early 2002. A new project, an HMIS Chemical Ratings Guide, also is under development in a joint effort with the association’s new HMIS distributor, J.J. Keller and Associates. The Ratings Guide also will be issued in early 2002, the association said.

HMIS is a comprehensive program that the NPCA said helps employers comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s Hazard Communication Standard. HMIS was created in 1981 as a complete information systems for compliance with the OSHA standard. HMIS uses a numerical hazard-rating system in which labels with color-coded bars give information about health, flammability and reactivity hazards. The system also provides information on appropriate personal protective equipment and the materials designed to train workers on the safe use of chemical hazards in the workplace.

The NPCA said revisions to the system will provide greater precision in the information on understanding and handling of chemicals that pose hazards. Revisions will reflect recent changes in the hazard-communication system. The HMIS Chemical Ratings Guide will serve as a reference manual, providing HMIS ratings and documentation for a large number of commodity chemicals, the NPCA said. The association also said it will assist members in making the transition to the revised HMIS, and will offer a workshop for NPCA members later this year.