What is the GHS. The GHS is the Globally Harmonized System of classification and labelling of Hazardous chemicals.
Developed by the United Nations , it is an international hazard communication system for the identification of hazardous chemicals.Countries all over the world are adopting a single unified approach to classifying chemical hazards,designing warning labels and organising new information on safety data sheets.If you are a user of chemicals big changes are ahead and you will need to comply with the new laws and regulations for the classification and labelling of hazardous materials.Your school/organisation needs to know and understand this new system. It provides information on containers of chemicals alerting end users to the potential hazards and what precautionary measures are required to be taken when handling these substances.
With GHS, occupational health and safety is significantly increased.The most noticeable changes are in hazard communication. The new GHS has 3 main groups for classifying hazardous chemicals.Physical,Health and Environmental. These groups are subdivided into various "classes". (Physical=16 classes, Health = 10 classes,and Environmental = 2 classes).
In addition ,the various "classes" are subdivided into hazard (categories) depending on wether they are serious or less serious hazards. The old familar Risk and Safety phrases have been replaced by Health and Precautionary phrases and two signal words Danger and Warning are used to represent the severity of the hazard.
The GHS has standardised the format of labels so that all will have the same headings. Standard phrases must be used to describe the various hazards.
Precautionary statements form part of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and labelling of Chemicals. (GHS). They are intended to form a set of standardized phrases giving advice about the correct handling of chemical substances and mixtures. Each precautionary statement is designated a code,starting with the letter P and followed by 3 digits. The statements are grouped together as indicated here:
General precautionary statements: P1xy
Prevention precautionary statements:P2xy
Response precautionary statements: P3xy
Storage precautionary statements: P4xy
Disposal precautionary statements: P5xy
Hazard statements form part of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and labelling of chemicals. (GHS). They are intended to form a set of standardised phrases about the hazards of chemical substances and mixtures. Each hazard statement is designated a code, starting with the letter H and followed by 3 digits. The statements are grouped together as indicated here:
Physical hazards: H2xy
Health hazards: H3xy
Environmental hazards: P5xy
Along with the new Health and Precautionary phrases the GHS has adopted 9 Pictograms for the labelling of chemical containers, these are intended to replace the current dangerous goods labels currently in use.
The new Pictograms represent three categories:
Physical hazards: Exploding bomb, Flame, Flame over circle, Gas cylinder,Corrosion
Health hazards: Skull and crossbones,Corrosion,Exclamation mark,Health hazard
Environmental hazards: Environment
Signal Words. These words represent the severity of the hazardous chemical.
"DANGER" is the more severe. "WARNING " is the less severe.