GHS – What is it?

Many people are asking “What is GHS and what does it mean for me?” GHS is an acronym for Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. The concept of GHS is to have a globally harmonized system in place for the classification of chemicals, the content of labels and safety data sheets (SDS). This concept is not new as the transportation sector has in place a global system for the transport of dangerous goods that covers classification of chemicals, packaging, labels, placards and shipping documents. The transport sector is governed by the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods (UNCETDG). As there was no harmonization in the workplace or consumer sectors, the UN expanded the UNCETDG and created the UNSCEGHS – United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on GHS. The UNCETDG was re-named UNSCETDG and both committees report to the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (CETDGGHS).
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OSHA is One Step Closer to Implementing GHS

It appears that the Globally Harmonized System in the US is still not quite ready.

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), under the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), began a review on October 25, 2011, of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Docket No. OSHA–H022K–2006–0062, from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This amendment would adapt the hazard communication requirements of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (29 CFR) to reflect the international standard known as the Globally Harmonized System, or GHS.

As its name implies, the OMB’s mission is to assist the President in overseeing the preparation of the federal budget, and review and oversee financial implications of new regulations. The office must review regulations before they can proceed to final publication.

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