Aligning the Hazard Communication Standard with GHS

Why & How GHS Impacts the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard.

The sole purpose of the OSHA/GHS alignment is to provide consistent and quality information to workers, and employers about the hazards associated with chemicals. The GHS creates a standardized approach for classifying, identifying, labeling, and safety-data-sheets. The standard initiates a criteria for hazard classification and identification, according to the associated health and physical hazards.

With GHS already in place, secondary container labels are required to include signal words, pictograms, and hazard and precautionary statements. Safety data sheets additionally have standardized format.

Why the HazCom Standard was modified.

With employee safety and worker comprehension in mind, the hazard communication standard was modified in order to improve the quality and consistency of the information about chemical hazards. This modification will improve the appropriate handling and use of chemicals in the workplace.

The standardized format of GHS labels and SDS’s allows workers to easily access and understand information that pertains to chemical hazards.

Major HazCom Changes.

-Labels: Chemical labels are required to contain a harmonized signal work, pictogram, hazard statement for each hazard class, as well as precautionary statements. HCL Labels offers a format that also includes the NFPA.

-SDS: SDS’s are required to have a specific 16-section format. This now makes the MSDS outdated.

-Training: GHS does not include training; however, is requires workers to be informed and trained within two years of the publication.


Prepare your facility for your 2018 inspection by updated your GHS chemical safety labels from HCL.


Facts on aligning the hazard communication standard to the GHS. OSHA.gov. web. 3/22/18. https://www.osha.gov/as/opa/facts-hcs-ghs.html



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