The Globally Harmonized System For Hazardous Communication

June 6, 2012


Either directly or indirectly, chemicals affect our lives, workplaces and economies. They are essential to the maintenance of proper health, safe hygiene and many safe industrial processes. In 2003, the United Nations (UN) adopted the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) outlined by the US Occupational Safety & Health Administration. This document thoroughly outlines:

  • The health, physical & environmental hazards of chemicals
  • Creates a process by which to classify chemicals by defined hazard criteria
  • Communicates both important chemical hazard information and protective measures against hazardous chemical incidents

The US, an active and invested participant in the development of the GHS, has since helped to maintain the implementation of the system throughout US based facilities and worksites. To help facility managers maintain effective systems of safety whereas it concerns hazardous chemicals, the government has mandated a manual of required chemical handling instructions. This list includes specifications on:

  • Chemical Identification
  • Hazard Identification
  • Identification of Composition & Ingredients
  • First-Aid Measures
  • Fire-Fighting Measures
  • Accidental Release Measures
  • Handling and Storing Precautions
  • Exposure Controls/Personal Protections
  • Physical & Chemical Properties
  • Stability & Reactivity
  • Toxicological Information
  • Ecological Information (non-mandatory)
  • Disposal Considerations (non-mandatory)
  • Transport Information (non-mandatory)
  • Regulatory Information (non-mandatory)
  • Other Information, such as the date of the last preparation or revision
  • Transport Information (non-mandatory)

Do your part to ensure that all chemicals on your worksite meet the government mandated labeling standards. Doing so may reduce the risk of accidental incidents involving harmful chemicals and go a long way toward making your facility a safer one.

For more information on specific GHS guidelines or how you can discover the best regulatory information for your worksite, please contact the facility management experts at Vanguard Resources.