(GHS) Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals

 GHS Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals  

 WHAT IS GHS?
“The Global Harmonized System is an international approach to hazard communication, providing agreed criteria for classification of chemical hazards, and a standardized approach to label elements and safety data sheets.” (OSHA Quick Takes)

Please note that OSHA maintains the most up-to-date information on GHS and may have a more comprehensive list of the latest frequently asked questions. Please visit OSHA for more information.

 

 

HAZARD COMMUNICATION STANDARD
The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is now aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). This update to the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) will provide a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets. 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. (www.osha.gov)

WHAT IS GHS?
“The Global Harmonized System is an international approach to hazard communication, providing agreed criteria for classification of chemical hazards, and a standardized approach to label elements and safety data sheets.” (OSHA Quick Takes)

WHY OSHA ALIGNED WITH GHS?
“The revised standard will align with the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals to better protect workers from hazardous chemicals and help American businesses compete in a global economy.” (OSHA Quick Takes)

WHY CHANGE?
To improve worker understanding of hazards associated with chemicals in their workplace worldwide

WHAT REMAINS THE SAME?

  • Manufacturers continue to provide chemical classification and Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
  • Distributors continue to provide SDS to customers
  • Employers must have a Hazcom plan, employee training, proper labeling and SDS for all hazardous chemicals

December 1st, 2013 is the First Compliance Date of the Revised Hazard Communication Standard Employees must be trained:

  • On the new label elements
  • On the new SDS format

WHY TRAIN NOW?
Employees must be trained:

  • On the new label elements
  • On the new SDS format
  • Training is needed early in the transition process as new labels and SDSs begin to change
  • Ensure employees have the necessary information to protect themselves

Additional information:
https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/index.html