GHS Transition Solutions in the USA

The addition of GHS to OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard raises the bar in chemical safety for workers in the USA.

What is GHS?

Created by the United Nations, GHS stands for the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. GHS is a framework for a worldwide standard on chemical hazard classification and communication. While countries previously used their own local standards and rules, this resulted in variability in safety standards, resulting in the need for an internationally agreed-upon system that better defines hazards, creates common standards for SDSs and labels, and reduces confusion for workers worldwide.

GHS is constantly evolving with science as it uncovers more evidence around chemicals and their effects on human health and the environment. Updated revisions to GHS are published on an annual basis.

While countries around the world have their own regulatory system for managing chemical hazards, GHS is adopted by every country and interpreted into their own workplace health and safety regulation. In the USA this is referred to as HazCom 2012. Sharing a harmonized system in the age of global trade simplifies regulations and improves the safety for workers who interact with hazardous products.


HazCom After GHS

OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard adopts and integrates the elements of GHS into a USA standard called HazCom 2012.  In order to ensure chemical safety in the workplace, the hazards of chemicals must be easily understood and communicated to workers. This is done by:

  • Chemical suppliers evaluating the hazards of their products and preparing SDSs and labels in order to communicate the hazards of their products to their customers.
  • Employers ensuring that hazardous or controlled products in the workplace are properly labelled and employees have access to Safety Data Sheets.
  • Employers are training and educating their staff on the proper use and handling of chemical products.
  • Employers keeping an up-to-date chemical inventory list.
  • Employers creating a Hazard Communication Plan.

How GHS changed the Hazard Communication Standard

  • Hazard classification: GHS offers specific criteria for Physical and Health classification of hazards as well as classification of mixtures.  
  • Labels: Chemical suppliers need to author standardized labels with certain elements including a signal word (Danger or Warning), pictogram, hazard statement and precautionary statements.  
  • Safety Data Sheets: Chemical suppliers will need to author a 16-section format SDS.   
  • Information and training: Employers need to train workers on understanding the new elements of SDSs and labels.

Ensure USA GHS Compliance

Chemscape can help your organization and employees adequately transition to ensure your business is compliant with GHS and current chemical compliance standards. Whether it be by implementing our SDS Management system sdsBinders or using our online HazCom course to train workers. Our registered SDS authors can also help chemical suppliers update their MSDSs to SDSs. Our dedicated team can help to create a custom GHS conversion plan that will ensure that your business operations are complying with current American regulations and HazCom standards.

Chemical Compliance Solutions

Chemscape Safety Technologies provides a suite of chemical compliance solutions to ensure that both employers and workers are appropriately trained on current American standards and best practices. Additionally, we provide extensive chemical management solutions to ensure that all business operations remain compliant. Our USA GHS Transition Solutions includes the following:  

Authoring Workplace Labels & Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

Since 1989, Chemscape Safety Technologies has been providing professional SDS authoring services to organizations throughout North America. If you are a chemical supplier, our expert team can author supplier labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS’s) that meet the specific requirements of your jurisdiction.

Access to Up-To-Date Safety Data Sheets and Labels

By choosing Chemscapes SDS Management solution, sdsBinders, you’ll gain access a library of up-to-date Safety Data Sheets. Our team is constantly in touch with chemical suppliers obtaining current SDSs so you don’t have to.

Implement an SDS Management and Chemical Handling Program with sdsBinders

Now is a perfect time to implement a SDS Management system to improve Chemical Management at your organization. Chemscape’s SDS Management solution sdsBinders provides your own portal customized to your organization. Employees can access their SDSs anytime online or on our convenient mobile App.

Contact Chemscape Safety Technologies for more information.