The Globally Harmonized System
These digital resources are available for GHS Compliance:
What is GHS?
Familiarize yourself on how GHS affects you and what you need to fully comply and implement it properly in your facilities.
GHS, or Globally Harmonized System, is a world regulation for classifying and communicating chemical hazards. Hazard communication experts around the world worked to create this new global standard based on major existing systems including the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). By implementing GHS guidelines into the revised HCS, OSHA has expanded the “right to know” into the “right to understand.” Adoption of GHS brings the U.S. into alignment with an international standard. If you are a manufacturer, supplier, or a user of chemicals, you are required to comply with GHS. (OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200 Hazard Communication Standard).
Goals of GHS
The goal of this new system is to more effectively communicate chemical hazards to improve the safety and health of our workers. GHS is expected to prevent more than 500 workplace injuries and illnesses and 45 fatalities every year. It will also improve international trade conditions for chemical manufacturers, enhance worker comprehension of hazards (especially with low and limited literacy workers), reduce confusion, facilitate safety training, and result in safer handling and use of chemicals. GHS provides quicker, more efficient access to SDS information, cost savings through productivity improvements, fewer SDS and label updates, and simpler hazcom training.
What are the major changes with GHS?
There are three main areas in the existing HCS which have changed with the adoption of GHS: hazard classification, labels, and safety data sheets.
Hazard classification (formerly hazard determination) is one of the major areas of change. Definitions of hazard now provide specific criteria for classification of health, physical, and … Click to read more.
GHS Compliance: When do I need to fully comply with GHS?
JUNE 1, 2015: Chemical manufacturers, importers and distributors reclassify chemicals, send SDS & labels in GHS format
- Identify secondary labeling needs and procedures
- Purchase GHS labeling equipment and supplies
- Implement labeling procedures (create- your-own labels or order pre-printed versions) based on new SDS sheets
- Archive MSDS for determined amount of time
- Re-train on GHS as well as your existing HazCom system (NFPA/HMIS) until full conversion to GHS is complete
DECEMBER 1, 2015: Distributors send only updated SDS & Labels
- Review and ensure that all MSDS have been converted to SDS format
- Audit all containers for compliance with updated regulations. Establish policy to control improperly labeled containers
JUNE 1, 2016: Employer full compliance deadline
GHS resources that help you stay compliant
Quickly identify chemical risks using nine new GHS pictograms. Comply with GHS classification guidelines.
Watch more resources at the GHS How To Videos Section.