The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) is a system that standardizes and classifies chemical labeling to reduce occupational safety hazards.
It offers the following:
- Definitions of hazards pertaining to the environment and human health.
- Defining classification methods that make use of information on chemicals for comparison with hazard criteria.
- Providing hazard data along with necessary protective measures via Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and labels.
Labels and Pictograms from GHS
The main benefit GHS offers is the changes to hazardous chemical labels it implements. Each GHS label comprises of 6 pieces of critical data that make chemicals instantly recognizable. These include:
- The name, address and telephone number of the supplier
- The product identifier
- The signal work
- Hazard statements
- Precautionary information
Together, this information allows construction workers to understand why they should be cautious when handling chemicals. These symbols are standardized that communicate the type of hazards present to handlers and workers. To be noticeable, each has to be framed in a red square frame which should be set on point. The image itself has to be black with a white background.
There are basically 9 pictograms which construction workers should memorize for their own safety:
- Flame over circle
- Gas cylinder
- Exclamation mark
- Skull and crossbones
- Exploding bomb
- Health hazard
In some instances, the environment pictogram may not be necessary since OSHA is not responsible for regulating aquatic toxicity.
Benefits of GHS
The aim of this hazard communication standard is to make sure that both workers and employers have adequate protection in the form of reliable and clear information. This allows them to take effective preventive measures for their health and safety.
In general, GHS application offers the following long-term benefits:
- Providing a framework for countries that already have hazard communication systems in place
- Make international trade in chemicals easier and especially in those that have been recognized on a global scale.
Reduce the need for evaluation and testing
All in all, implementing hazard communication like this is beneficial for businesses, workers, the public and the government as well.
Businesses benefit in the following ways:
Reduction in costs due to safer work environments and better employee relations
- Reduction in labor costs
- Application of advanced systems resulting in better resource use.
- Better training programs for health and safety
- Improved corporate image
- Improved credibility.
- Increase in efficiency and employee morale
Workers and the public benefit in the following ways:
- Better hazard awareness for safer chemical use in the workplace
- Enhanced safety for workers via simplified chemical hazard communication for safe handling
GHS and OSHA Hazardous Communication
The bottom line is that workers will always be exposed to hazardous chemicals in the workplace on a regular basis. Such working conditions pose serious threats to their health which can prove dangerous with time. According to OSHA regulations, workers need to be trained in using those chemicals safely.
The GHS and OSHA Hazardous Communication course from 360training.com teaches students all they need to know about the GHS, how to make use of Safety Data Sheets and chemical labels to protect themselves from chemical hazards. This includes a basic overview of how to determine safety hazards, the Right to Know Act etc.
Once they complete the course, students will be able to:
- Determine the physical and health hazards that are inherent in the workplace
- Recognize common occupational hazards on the job
- Explain how to prevent adverse effects of hazardous materials present in the workplace.
- Read Safety Data Sheets or Material Safety Data Sheets clearly and determine ideal responses to real world scenarios
- Identify the purpose of GHS
- Interpret the different labels on hazardous materials on the job without difficulty.
- Identify the different physical and health hazards present in the workplace
Employees who are trained to understand the hazards of the materials they are working with have higher chances of avoiding injuries and contracting illnesses. Plus, businesses that provide this training can also avoid hefty OSHA fines. Sign up your team today.