How GHS Revolutionized the Chemical Industry

How GHS Revolutionized the Chemical Industry Looking back, there has been great strides in both chemical safety and understanding. Too many times, however, we’ve learned through tragic accidents the seriousness of chemicals in their ability to affect human health and the environment. What was the cause of this “trial by fire” method? Many times, it has been the lack of simple and consistent information regarding chemicals. GHS is aimed to address that. Before 2012, there was no unified standard to ensure chemical safety across the board.  Commonly referred to as GHS, the Globally Harmonized System both defines and classifies the hazards associated with various chemical products that businesses use daily. It also helps to communicate health and safety information on labels, data sheets, and more in the most proactive way possible. Developed by an international team of experts and used worldwide, the GHS does more than just to "get everyone on the same page” –it helps make sure that chemical industry workers and working environments around the globe are as safe as possible at all times. Benefits of GHS One of the most difficult factors that businesses face regarding workplace health and safety can be summed up with a single question: "What even is hazard communication?" How much information do you need to convey to properly educate people about the risks inherent in their job and their environment? Too little information could lead to people not having information they need, while too much information could cause important points to get lost in an overwhelming sea of knowledge. This is one of the major challenges that the Globally Harmonized System is designed to address. It doesn't just help convey safety information—it makes sure that the same format for safety labels and safety data sheets is agreed on and used as a standard across the globe. You don't have to worry about one country trying to convey the same message in a different way from another country—everyone uses the same system. This helps to improve not just the transmission of information but the meaningful transmission of the right information to the audience that needs it. With these guiding principles, GHS has streamlined and unified the chemical sectors much like we see many others do around the world. For example, by placing an emphasis on simplified food nutritional labeling, it is now easier for consumers to make more informed health choices. By doing away with overly complicated chemical information on sunscreen SPF labeling and cutting straight to the facts, consumers can now make better choices for their health. The Approach At, we believe that one of the keys to avoiding the types of safety hazards that threaten your customers, your employees, and ultimately, your entire business involves taking a proactive approach to such an important topic. A properly designed, well-founded hazard communication program is one of the best things you can do to avoid serious issues. Our training for HAZWOPER, or Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Training, is just one example of a course that helps organizations like yours identify and address hazards before it's too late. If you'd like to find out more information about hazard communication standard procedures, or about any of the online safety courses we offer, please don't delay—contact today.  

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