What is GHS

GHS is a system that defines and classifies the hazards of chemical products and communicates health and safety information on labels and safety data sheets. Once implemented, the revised standard will improve the quality and consistency of hazard information in the workplace, making it safer for workers by providing easily understandable information on appropriate handling and safe use of chemicals around the world.

On March 20, 2012, OSHA announced that the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) had been revised to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, commonly known as GHS.

Published in the Federal Register on March 26, 2012, the adoption of GHS ushers in a new era of Hazard Communication for the United States. According to OSHA, changes to the HCS will affect over 43 million workers in over 5 million workplaces. The biggest changes center on:

Safety Data Sheets
Hazard Classification

There are 4 key compliance dates related to OSHA’s adoption of GHS:

December 1, 2013
All employers must train their employees who use or sell chemicals on how to read the new GHS formatted labels and 16-section safety data sheets.

June 1, 2015
Chemical manufacturers and distributors must complete hazard reclassification and produce GHS styled labels and safety data sheets. Distributors get an additional 6 months to complete shipments of old inventory.

December 1, 2015
Distributors must comply fully with HCS requirements. (Grace period for shipments of old inventory ends.)

June 1, 2016
Employers must be in full compliance with revised HCS, including complete training of employees on new hazards and/or revisions to workplace hazard communication program.

Resource Materials

ACS has compiled a comprehensive set of tools to assist you in preparing for HazCom 2012.

Simply click on the links below to access and download valuable training materials to fully explain all areas of compliance.