For anyone who handles chemicals, compliance with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals is crucial to ensure safe handling and use of chemicals in the workplace. GHS is a globally recognized system for the classification and labeling of chemicals, developed by the United Nations to standardize the communication of chemical hazards across countries and industries.
If you handle chemicals, here are the key elements of GHS compliance that you should be aware of:
- Classification of Chemicals Chemicals must be classified based on their hazards before they can be labeled and used. This involves identifying the physical, health, and environmental hazards associated with the chemical. Ensure that you have access to up-to-date safety data sheets (SDS) from your suppliers, which outline the hazards associated with the chemicals you use.
- Labeling of Chemicals All containers of hazardous chemicals must be labeled with specific information, including the product identifier, signal word, hazard statements, precautionary statements, and pictograms. Labels must be clear and legible, and the information on the label should match the information on the SDS. Properly label all chemical containers in your workplace.
- Safety Data Sheets SDSs provide detailed information on the hazards associated with a chemical, as well as instructions on how to handle, store, and dispose of the chemical safely. Make sure you have the most recent SDSs for all the chemicals you use and ensure they are easily accessible.
- Training All employees who handle hazardous chemicals must be trained on the hazards associated with those chemicals and how to handle them safely. This training should include information on GHS labeling and SDSs. Make sure you receive regular training on chemical safety and stay updated on any changes to GHS regulations.
- Storage and Handling Hazardous chemicals should be stored in designated areas that are well-ventilated and have proper signage. Chemicals should be stored in their original containers or approved secondary containers, and incompatible chemicals should be stored separately. Ensure that you have procedures in place for the safe handling and disposal of chemicals.
Compliance with GHS regulations is essential for anyone who handles chemicals to ensure the safety of themselves and others and to protect the environment. By understanding and following GHS compliance, you can handle and use chemicals safely and in accordance with regulations.
To ensure you are meeting the OSHA mandated requirements and operating safely, join Sanico for our free GHS and Bloodborne Pathogen Training certification. It takes place at our Sanico Solutions Show at Tioga Downs Casino on April 5th, 2023. Sign up today!