With the introduction of the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), many are unsure of the implications to their business or to their specific job. The following information explains the background of GHS and offers a solution for communicating the information to employees.

For starters – what is GHS?

Each country has their own system for classifying the hazardous properties of chemicals and how this information is passed to end-users through labels and data sheets. A chemical which is classed as being toxic in one country may not have the same classification in another country. The requirement for a ‘harmonised system’ became increasingly apparent with products being transported globally and people increasingly travelling across the world.

As a result the UN took the action of bringing together experts from different countries to create the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). The aim of the GHS is to have uniform standards worldwide for:

1. Criteria for classifying chemicals depending on their health, environmental and physical hazards.
2. Communication of these hazards in the form of labels and safety data sheets.

Among the benefits of GHS is the facilitation of trade due to the promotion of regulatory efficiency and improved hazard communication procedures. You should be aware of your role and responsibilities as an employee or an employer and how these have been affected by the new regulations. They will vary depending on the part your business plays in the supply chain.

I am an employer – how does GHS affect me?

As a manufacturer or importer you may be required to register some substances.

I am a worker – how does GHS affect me?

If you are a downstream user or you work with chemicals you may be required to supply information up the supply chain.

EazySAFE have developed an online GHS course meaning that you can inform and train those affected by the new regulations quickly and efficiently. The course covers areas such as:

  • The criteria and legislation used to classify, label and package hazardous substances
  • The differences between the CPL and the new CLP Regulations
  • The substances and mixtures which are exempt
  • The four steps of notification
  • REACH

GHS has been adopted into the new EU Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) regulations (in force as of January 20, 2009). These regulations must be used for new products which are pure substances by December 1, 2010 and mixtures by June 1, 2015. There is a two-year transition period for existing products labelled and packaged according to EU Directives (67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, both as amended).

Request a trial through our contact page or call us for more information:

UK: +44 (0) 207 153 9920

IRE: +353 (0) 1 653 1616

FR: +33 (0)1 70 99 31 66

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