GHS is a short form 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. An approach for element labeling and SDS is also a providence of the system. It’s a global system that was outlined and standardized by communication experts from different states in the world. International organizations and other stakeholder groups were also involved in this process. It was integrated with other existing standards from other systems in the world.
GHS is also referred to as the purple book. Standardized order of information on safety data sheets is a component of the document. Classification criteria for health, physical and environmental risks that can be imposed by the chemicals are also outlined in the document. Another component of the document is the standardized label elements that are assigned to the risk classes and divisions. Relevant signal words, pictorials and hazard and a precautionary statement which can be used for effective communication with the user are the results of the above.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is the initial name for Safety Data Sheet (SDS) The term was changed to SDS to improve information received from different countries. The standardization of labels and SDSs is important because it enhances information received from and exported to other countries. 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. It is a requirement in any workplace for safety and product stewardship. Data and information in the SDSs include physical data, health effects, toxicity, storage and safe disposal.
SDS should be readily available where the chemical substances are used.This enhances the storage safety of these chemicals and spill-handling procedures. In addition, these SDSs should not be designed for the generic users only. 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. This is most important for everyone working in confined spaces. This enhances safety in these workplaces.
Managing these SDSs is very important. Companies have started using different soft wares that are specifically designed for the SDS proper management. 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.