GHS – Compliant Hazard Warning Labels and Safety Data Sheets

Global Harmonized system (GHS)Training

The main objectives of this training is :

  • To enlighten workers on the newly reviewed Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to ensure that their application in the company align with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) Labeling and classification of chemicals
  • The training will offer primary awareness of chemical labeling and classification to eliminate hazard in the company
  • It will also focus on ensuring that all workers handling dangerous chemicals are able to handle them without endangering their life or those of others in the company
  • The training will provide the required chemicals labeling  and classification requirements and procedures to ensure high level of safety in the company and its subsidiaries 

Chemical Identification

  • Every hazardous chemical should be labeled
  • The label of every hazardous chemical  must include identifier applied on the safety data sheet.
  • Every employee working in hazardous chemical  environment must have a data sheet detailing chemicals used in the unit
  • The  shipped container should include telephone numbers, address, and name of the chemical importer, manufacturer or responsible individuals and emergency phone number 
  • The label of every classified hazardous chemical should include the precautionary statement, signal word , Pictogram, hazard statement , Hazard class specifications, and related category of hazard where necessary
  • Identification section should also include recommended chemical use and use restriction (OSHA, n.d.b)

Identification of Hazard

  • Hazard identification should start with chemical classification as provided by 1910.1200 paragraph d
  • The hazard identification should include signal word, precautionary statement, symbol and hazard statement
  • In case signal word “warning” is included them signal word “danger” should not be used
  • This implies that;
    • In case cross-bones and skull pictogram is used the pictogram of the exclamation mark should not occur where it is utilized for acute toxicity
    • In case corrosive pictogram is used the pictogram of the exclamation mark should not appear where eyes of skin irritation occurs
    • If the pictogram health hazard is used for respiratory sensitization the pictogram for exclamation mark shall not be used where it is utilized for eye or skin irritation or skin sanitization (OSHA. (n.d.c).

Hazard Statement

  • The label should contain text of all hazard statement applicable
  • Italic information is used as part of the provide hazard statement stating parts
  • For instance in a research laboratory where hazardous acids, gases, and other reagents are used the hazard statement should appear
    • Result to damage of (lungs and skin) organs through repeated or prolonged exposure  or accidents contact through (breathing, skin and eyes contact or accidental swallowing)“ (OSHA, n.d.c)

Hazard Symbols in Labeling

Workers handling hazardous chemicals must know how to read and understand symbols used to warn them over the reaction o the chemical that can cause dangers. These symbols include

The hazard symbols are used to indicate the harm that the chemical can bring to the user or any other person in contact with it. Frame indicate that the chemical can easily catch fire and hence one should ensure no fire in its operation vicinity. Exploding bomb demonstrates that the chemical can easily explode when exposed to certain conditions. Fire over circle shows that the product can easily acquire oxygen and change in form to cause dangerous fie. Corrosion sign shows that the chemical can be dangerous if permitted to contact the skin hence one should ware protective clothes. Health hazard sign demonstrates that the chemical can cause short or  long-term effect on the body including the digestive system and other organs when swallowed or respiratory system and related organs when inhaled. Thus one should ensure he or she puts on a gas mask and close the mouth while using the chemical. Skull and cross-bone demonstrates the seriousness of any accidental ingestion of the chemical to the user, indicating possibility of death. Gas cylinder should presses of compress gas, and hence one need to be caution of its possible reaction when mishandled for instance possibility of supporting combustion , or combining with other chemicals in the area to cause explosion. Exclamation mark is used to give warning on chemicals that can cause mild irritation to the skin or eyes.


The hazard symbols are used to indicate the harm that the chemical can bring to the user or any other person in contact with it. Frame indicate that the chemical can easily catch fire and hence one should ensure no fire in its operation vicinity. Exploding bomb demonstrates that the chemical can easily explode when exposed to certain conditions. Fire over circle shows that the product can easily acquire oxygen and change in form to cause dangerous fie. Corrosion sign shows that the chemical can be dangerous if permitted to contact the skin hence one should ware protective clothes. Health hazard sign demonstrates that the chemical can cause short or  long-term effect on the body including the digestive system and other organs when swallowed or respiratory system and related organs when inhaled. Thus one should ensure he or she puts on a gas mask and close the mouth while using the chemical. Skull and cross-bone demonstrates the seriousness of any accidental ingestion of the chemical to the user, indicating possibility of death. Gas cylinder should presses of compress gas, and hence one need to be caution of its possible reaction when mishandled for instance possibility of supporting combustion , or combining with other chemicals in the area to cause explosion. Exclamation mark is used to give warning on chemicals that can cause mild irritation to the skin or eyes.

Chemical Composition

  • The employees will be required to know the following for the substances:
    • Name of the chemical
    • Chemical synonyms and common name
    • Any unique identifiers including CAS number
    • Stabilizing additives and impurities that are  classified and that add to the substance classification
  • For mixture extra information is needed for substances which include
    • Name of the chemical and percentage of the concentration of all ingredients
    • This include their presence beyond allowed limit and possible health hazard below required concentration limit.
  • Actual additive concentration should be stated unless when  it is claimed by the trade secret that this information not included
  • It will be helpful to known the chemical and physical properties of the chemicals one is handling (OSHA, n.d.b)

Supplementary Information

  • Producer of the label that offer extra information or instructions which can be helpful in handling the chemical
  • The chemical user should look for extra listed  hazard which is not classified under the label portion
  • Information on acute toxicity ingredient percentage where the concentration s more than 1% need to be listed
  • This information is listed as  supplementary information and hence workers need to know what it is and understand it
  • This supplement information should help in guiding on the right protection measures or instruments that one should use
  • For instance,  pictogram of a person putting on goggles may be listed as Hazardous Materials Identification System (OSHA, n.d.a).

Measures to be Taken in Case of Chemical Accidents

  • Workers should know first aid measures in case of an accidents
  • These  measures should be employed based on exposure routes that include ingestion, eye and skin contact or inhalation.
  • They should also learn about most significant effect or symptoms, acute symptoms and long-term effects
  • This varies based on the chemical used;
    • For instance one should look for abase product if spilled on acid.
    • Chemical on eyes can be removed by washing the eye with running clean water
  • They should also learn  about unsuitable and suitable extinguishing media based on the fire source
  • Workers should also know of the right fire-fighters precautions and protective measures (OSHA, n.d.b)

Precaution and Exposure Control

  • Workers should learn about emergency procedures, personal precaution sand protective equipment based on their unit of operation
  • For instance one should wear gas mask for chemicals that can be inhaled, goggles to prevent eye spills or non-corrosive gloves to protect skin
  • They should learn on containment materials and methods and cleaning up procedure
  • Safe handling precautions and Safe storage condition needed to be learnt. For instance, there are two chemicals that can be explosive if combined, the storage should be in separate cabinet (OSHA, n.d.a)
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