Understanding GHS Classification, Chemical Labels and Safety Data Sheets

Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals is now universally accepted to communicate the hazards of a chemical. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) adopted the GHS system under the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) in June 2016. In the course of implementation of the GHS, we need to educate our research community, specially new undergraduate and graduate students and provide them with the most recent knowledge of the chemicals, labels, hazards and the ways to protect themselves and their surroundings from the dangers associated with the chemicals. In this paper, we discuss the basics of OSHA hazard communication, GHS system classification, chemical labeling, new hazard pictograms and sections of safety data sheet (SDS) for our students and researchers in an easy to understand format. It is the hope that this publication will benefit the students to understand chemical hazards, to read safety information and to protect themselves when using these materials.