GHS Compliance Overview

What is the Globally Harmonized System (GHS)?

The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) is an international system that the United Nations created for the unified classification and labeling of chemicals. It was officially adopted in the U.S. on March 26, 2012, by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA's adoption of the GHS is actually a revision of the Hazard Communication Standard designed to align with the GHS. It's called HazCom 2012.

GHS compliance is important because it gives employees the right to understand hazard information, rather than simply the right to know about potential hazards. Hilda Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor, said the improvement in quality and consistency of hazard information will make it safer for workers to do their jobs and for employers to stay competitive.1

ghs guide

Get the complete guide to GHS compliance

From deadlines and SDS to labeling and training, there is a lot you need to do to become GHS compliant. Our Streamlined Guide to GHS provides you a complete resource to navigate HazCom and GHS compliance. And the best part is...it's FREE!
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Don't miss a deadline!

December 1, 2013 June 1, 2015 December 1, 2015 June 1, 2016
Employers must train employees on the new label elements and Safety Data Sheet (SDS) format. Chemical manufacturers, importers and distributors reclassify chemicals, send SDS & labels in GHS format. Distributors send only updated SDS & labels. Employer full compliance deadline.

OSHA is requiring compliance to specific areas of the HazCom 2012 standard over four years. There are four key dates that have a set of requirements that you may need to meet. Learn more and get a checklist for each deadline here.

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GHS compliance and what you need to do:

HazCom plan and chemical inventory management

Develop a written HazCom plan that documents and outlines how your company responds to hazardous chemicals. You need this to comply with OSHA's 29 CFR 1910.1200(e) regulation.

Tracking, maintaining and managing your chemical inventory is crucial to your HazCom plan and GHS compliance. Keeping your inventory organized and updated is key to a successful plan.

For more download our Streamlined Guide to GHS

Update chemical containers with GHS labels 

Labeling is the cornerstone of GHS compliance. With an emphasis on consistency and comprehension of chemical labels, it is important to know what goes into a GHS label. There are six key elements to a GHS label that you need to know.How to Make a GHS Label

Safety Data Sheet

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

What is a Safety Data Sheet?

A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) was formerly known as a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). The new SDS follows a consistent, user-friendly format to communicate chemical hazards. They detail what a chemical is, what hazards are present and how to respond to those hazards. An SDS must accompany any hazardous chemicals that are distributed.

Getting a SDS and Making a GHS Label

Chemical manufacturers, distributors or importers must create an SDS for any chemical they offer. These are then provided along with the chemical to other companies as they purchase it. An SDS provides all the information you need in 16 different sections to create a compliant GHS label. Simply map the applicable information from those sections of the SDS to the related GHS label element.

For more information on SDS and each SDS section download our Streamlined Guide to GHS

Additional Resources to Help with GHS Compliance

GHS Frequently Asked Questions

Since the implementation of the GHS in 2012, we've been collecting frequently asked questions from our customers and during our webinars. Our experts have answered these most commonly asked questions and put them all in one place.

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Products to Help You Comply with GHS


ghs label printer

GHS Label Printers

Brady Printers will help you sustain GHS Compliance. Many of our featured GHS label printers have an easy-to-use touchscreen interface and built-in GHS label creation applications that make creating GHS labels simple. With multi-color and mono-color print options you can find the label printer best suits your needs.

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GHS Pre-Printed Pictogram Labels

Printing your own GHS labels but can't get the pictograms you need? Grab a roll of Brady's pre-printed GHS pictogram labels. These are a great way to supplement mono-color label printers without investing in a brand new label printing system.

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GHS training kit

GHS Training Kit

Looking to implement or sustain your GHS training program? Make sure you have the right materials for the job. Our training kit features videos, instructor's guide, employee quizzes, PowerPoint presentations and employee handbooks.

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Custom GHS Labels

Custom GHS Labels

Have Brady create your GHS labels for you! It's simple. Just download the order forms, provide your label content and specifications, and then send it back to our custom quote team for pricing. From there, use your quote to place the order. That's it!

Custom GHS Label Form    
Custom GHS Tank & Vessel Signs Form
Source: 1 OSHA. (2015). Hazard Communication. Retrieved from OSHA.gov: https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/