There are comprehensive information about a substance or mixture to be used in workplace management, and these are compiled in the essential component of GHS called safety data sheets. Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, or in short GHS, is a system that harmonizes the criteria of hazard classification and chemical hazard communication elements all over the world.
GHS SDS are a must to be prepared in situation when there is a chemical or formulation seen to be hazardous according to the different categories. There must be a preparation of GHS safety data sheets, to be done by the manufacturer, dealer, importer or exporter, when there is a match of the cut off value of chemical with the various hazard classifications.
Countries across the globe are adopting the GHS that the United Nations have recommended with the aim of achieving many objectives.
The first important goal of the GHS is for the workers’ health protection, especially if they are involved in the chain of processing, storage, handling and transportation of chemicals. The next purpose of GHS is to safeguard the environment. Through a system of classification that is unified, trading across borders is facilitated, and there is a proper identification of chemicals and their potential hazards levels.
It is a fact that some countries did not have a system of classification in place and other countries do have various kinds of classification, and so to create uniformity and address these differences, the aim of the GHS safety data sheets is to serve this purpose.
The basis of classification process would consider the intrinsic hazardous element of a single chemical and its formulation, and how it would impact with air, water and other chemicals once there is a reaction and when released to the environment.
GHS had underwent several revisions and either a country will accept it or present its own norms. An important feature of the system is to train employees in the use and interpretation of SDS and the appropriate handling of the chemicals.
The implementation of the system is the next component of the system which is strictly recommended. For example, if an importer distributor are just to receive containers of chemicals that are sealed with GHS labels, it is their duty to make sure that the labels remain intact on the containers.
Distributors and manufacturers of chemicals must be updated with changes of the data where GHS is based on, especially when new data would come out to supersede the old data basis of GHS.
Thus, GHS is viewed to be instrumental in bringing about uniformity in the categorization and classification of chemicals, and experts are needed to prepare the GHS SDS and labels.