Safety Tip of the Week – Globally Harmonized System (GHS)

Globally Harmonized System (GHS)

For many years now, employees could gather limited information about the hazardous chemicals they work with by looking at container labels and reading Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs). However, there was no set format to govern how the companies that produced or distributed those chemicals categorized the hazards of their products, nor how the labels and MSDSs had to appear. The end result was a confusing mish-mash of information that often failed to help workers quickly discern the hazards of the products they were using.

Overview of changes:

  • “Material Safety Data Sheets” (MSDSs) are replaced by “Safety Data Sheets” (SDSs).

  • The new SDSs are divided into 16 sections, with information about the product’s chemical hazards appearing in a set order that is always the same for every sheet.

  • Container labels will all display mandatory information, including a product identifier that is exactly the same as that appearing on the corresponding Safety Data Sheet.

  • Container labels will also have standardized “signal words,” “hazard statements,” and “precautionary statements” to help ensure you are alerted to applicable dangers and necessary safeguards you should follow when working with that product.

  • All container labels should display one or more of eight specific “pictograms,” which are basically icons that appears in small red boxes that will help you to quickly identify the specific hazard or hazards associated with the product you are using.

    Your Right to Know…It’s ALL about SAFETY!!! 


Download flyer: STOTW_511_Globally Harmonized System.pdf (707.21 kb)

Download Spanish flyer: STOTW_511_Globally Harmonized System_esp.pdf (706.65 kb)

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