GHS is an acronym which stands for Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. It approaches the hazard communication at an international level. The system provides the standards that should be followed when classifying chemical hazards. also the system provides the standards for element labeling routines and safety data sheets. It’s a global system that was outlined and standardized by communication experts from different states in the world. international organizations and different stakeholders also participated in this process. Other existing standards from other systems in the world were integrated into this system.
GHS can also be called the purple book.It is a document which outlines the standardized order of information on safety data sheets. It also has the classification criteria for health, physical and environmental hazards that can be imposed by chemicals. Another component of the document is the standardized label elements that are assigned to the risk classes and divisions. The document describes the appropriate signal words, pictorials and hazard and precautionary statements which are in turn useful in user-based communication.
Initially, Safety Data Sheets (SDS) were referred to as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). The main reason for changing the term was to accommodate the information gotten from different countries. Improving the information received from different countries is the main reason for the name change. Standardization of labels and SDS are important in that they improve the information conveyed from country to country. GHS and international standards aimed at harmonizing the different standards established nationally and internationally.Hence, better global communication is enhanced.
Chemicals information is the component of the Material Safety Data Sheet It provides the users of these substances with procedures for safe handling of the substance. For safety and product stewardship SDS is a requirement in any workplace. Data and information in the SDSs include physical data, health effects, toxicity, storage and safe disposal.
In the areas where the chemical substances are being used or stored, there should be SDS. This leads to enhancement in storage safety and spill-handling procedures for the chemical substances. SDS should be designed for anyone that comes to these chemical substances. The design should be such that any person that comes into contact with the chemicals should be in a position to understand the hazards and the components of the chemical substances. It is especially crucial for the personnel working in confined workplaces. Safety in these working places becomes enhanced as a result.
How these SDSs are managed is very crucial. To properly manage the SDSs come companies are using the soft wares developed by different skilled people. But before one can use these soft wares it is very important to determine whether these soft wares meet the international standards set by the GHS.