Whats New!

Whats New!

Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)

After years of work and debate, in late March OSHA adopted the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS for short) into the Hazard Communication Standard. The GHS is a system for standardizing the classification and labeling of chemicals, and communicating information about them through Safety Data Sheets and hazard warning labels

While the GHS doesn't change any of the requirements in the Hazard Communication Standard, it does change the way three of the key requirements must be met.

  • It provides very specific methods and descriptions that must be used when classifying hazardous chemicals.

  • It standardizes the format and language that manufacturers must use when creating Safety Data Sheets (which replace the current Material Safety Data Sheets).

  • It standardizes the language and pictograms that must be used on hazard warning labels and placards.

  • As it does with most new regulations, OSHA has given companies some time to incorporate the GHS into their Hazard Communication Program. The first deadline, for having all employees trained on the GHS, is December 1, 2013. But many chemical manufacturers are already preparing to produce GHS Safety Data Sheets and labels for their chemicals. So employee training will quickly become a priority for many companies.

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