Globally Harmonized System for Labeling of Chemicals

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Globally Harmonized System for Labeling of Chemicals

GHS is a single unified approach to classifying chemical hazards, designing warning labels, and organizing information on SDSs.
In the United States, all new shipments of chemicals and SDSs must comply with these labeling requirements.
The GHS label will be present on the primary container of the hazardous chemical in the workplace. It must be maintained on the supplied container in your work area. The GHS label, or label elements, can also be used for secondary containers. However, your workplace unit may use alternative means for communicating the same information in a different written or displayed format.
If containers of hazardous chemicals leave your work area, they must be labeled in accordance with the GHS labeling requirements. A label that is on a primary container of a hazardous chemical and is in compliance with GHS will contain the following:
  • The identity of the chemical, using the product identifier present on the SDS
  • The name, address, and telephone number of the chemical manufacturer, importer, or responsible party (applies to the shipped container)
  • Appropriate hazard warnings, communicated through the appropriate pictogram(s)
  • Signal word(s)
  • Hazard statement(s)
  • Precautionary statement(s)
A sample label, provided by OSHA on their website, is shown in the bottom image.
Before you handle or open a chemical container, carefully read the label and follow the instructions. If you are unsure about information on the label, ask your supervisor before you proceed.