July 24, 2013 | As the December 1st training deadline (the first in a series of deadlines) for GHS approaches, it is important to be mindful of the changes in marking and labeling chemicals. Here is an overview of GHS label elements.
The GHS label elements are directly connected to the hazards associated with the product. The three elements are: symbols (hazard pictograms), signal words, and hazard statements.
Symbols (Hazard Pictograms)
– These convey the health, physical and environmental hazard information assigned to a GHS hazard class and category.
– These help indicate whether there is a danger or warning and are used to emphasize hazards and indicate the relative level of severity of the hazard. In this case, you should be looking for the word, “DANGER” or “WARNING” on the label.
– These standard phrases assigned to a hazard class and category help describe the nature of the hazard.
Because this terminology will be used for marking and labeling all chemicals and products containing hazards, it will be easy for different countries to implement the system. These labels will be recognizable by all, thus drastically improving the safety and time it takes to make international shipments. According to OSHA, this new GHS approach will allow companies to easily comply with GHS regulations. It is important to note that the use of symbols, signal words, or hazard statements other than those that have been assigned to each of the GHS hazards are not in compliance with the new GHS standard.
Understanding the elements of marking and labeling products is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding GHS. If you would like to become more familiar with this regulatory standard, check out our learning series.