Globally Harmonized System Deadline is December 1

The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) is a set of guidelines developed by the United Nations to ensure the safe production, transport, handling, use and disposal of hazardous materials. The goal of the system is to make workplaces safe for employees exposed to chemical hazards and to make the international sale and transport of these chemicals easier.

The guidelines include criteria for classifying hazards, standards for labeling hazardous chemicals and required information for safety data sheets (SDS). These new guidelines affect everyone in the chemical industry, with special responsibilities for chemical manufacturers and employers that handle, use and store hazardous chemicals.

The U.S. officially adopted the GHS on March 26, 2012, and the first deadline set for employers to incorporate the new system is approaching. By December 1, 2013, employers are required to have trained their employees on the new label elements and SDS format. Business owners who do not provide their employees with the proper training could face fines from OSHA.

If you’re not sure where to start, call your Summit Loss Control representative. We can supply you with the training materials, and, if needed, help you conduct your training sessions.

For more information on the GHS including phase-in dates, visit www.osha.gov, or call your Summit Loss Control representative.