Understanding GHS Hazard Communication

OSHA now requires restaurants using chemical products be compliant with GHS standards and regulations on hazard communication.

Keystone - News & Insights

May 24, 2017

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)—the latest standard of regulations for the classification of health, physical and environmental hazards—takes an international approach to hazard communication. You can think of GHS as an older brother or sister to MSDS, with criteria for classifying chemical hazards, uniform labeling systems and Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), which replace Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs).

International hazard communication experts and organizations collaborated to develop GHS standards and regulations. Standard hazard pictograms (symbols) are components of GHS, used in labeling containers and during transport of hazardous chemicals. The symbols depict product dangers, including explosive, flammable, oxidizing, compressed gas, corrosive, irritant, toxic, health hazards and environmentally damaging properties.

OSHA has phased in GHS requirements over several years—expecting manufacturers, distributors and food operations that use chemical products to comply accordingly. The final deadline by which employers must have updated labeling systems and hazard communication programs/procedures in place was set for June 1, 2016.

Restaurants need to be compliant. Having a “Right to Understand” SDS Hazard Communication Station is one way to maintain that compliance. This station can help businesses train their workers as well as store GHS records conveniently and prominently.


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