The Globally Harmonized System of the Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) was created by The United Nations to provide a universal classification system around the world.

The United State of America adopted the GHS in 2012 and OSHA revised their Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to match the GHS.

Changes will include:

  • Hazard classification
  • Labels
  • Safety Data Sheets
  • Employee training

GHS stands for the Globally Harmonized System of the Classification and Labelling of Chemical.

It is a set of guidelines for ensuring the safe production, transport, handling, use and disposal of hazardous materials.

Important Dates

All organizations with chemicals must be compliant with the 2012 HCS chemical classification guidelines using the new GHS formats for Safety Data Sheets, labels, chemical classification, and employee training by June 1, 2016.

Chemical Safety Label Changes

Previous labels for chemicals will no longer be acceptable. Chemicals will have to be labeled in accordance to the GHS pictograms which have standardized elements that include designated language depending on classifications.


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