GHS Overview

GHS Overview

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) is a worldwide initiative to promote standard criteria for classifying chemicals according to their hazards and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets. GHS was developed by international mandate to:

  • Benefit countries, international organizations and chemical producers
  • Enhance the protection of humans and the environment
  • Facilitate international chemicals trade
  • Reduce redundant and costly testing and evaluation

With the shift to GHS, all MSDS documents are required to be rewritten into a new standardized SDS format, and all containers relabeled with appropriate signal words, pictograms, and hazard statements.

In the U.S., GHS is being adopted over a timeline that includes specific target dates for implementation and compliance. For manufactures and distributors, June 1, 2015 is the deadline that all chemicals need to be reclassified with GHS-consistent SDS documents and labels. Then, by June 1, 2016, employers are required to have their workplace labeling and hazard communication programs updated as necessary – including all MSDSs replaced with SDS-formatted documents.

Check out our GHS transition plan to see how we can help.

Download our GHS Whitepaper: “What You Really Need to Know About GHS: A Practical Guide to Navigating the MSDS to SDS Transition”