The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) is system of classification and labeling of chemicals put forth by the United Nations. GHS sets a new standard for displaying and defining chemical classification on Material Safety Data Sheet ((M)SDS).
By law, all Material Safety Data Sheets ((M)SDS) must be converted to the GHS format by June, 2015. The goal is to make the handling and transportation of chemicals safer and easier with a structured set of uniformed guidelines.
In the United States, OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) will run in conjunction with GHS. This means HCS will undergo a number changes to ensure uniformity as well. These changes include, but are not limited to:
- Re-authoring of MSDS to incorporate the new 16-section format in a specified order
- Labels must include the standard signal word, symbol (pictogram) and hazard statement
- Precautionary statements must be included