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.