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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Training needs to be at the center of all your GHS activities. It needs to be a regularly performed activity and not just a one-and-done session. Annual re-training is the best practice, but be sure your team is consistently updated about changes to your program.
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.
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.
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.
Immediately following the June 1, 2015 deadline, we teamed up with Safety+Health Magazine to take a look at what other companies were doing to comply with GHS and some of the industry best practices.
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.