Originally, the Globally Harmonized System, or GHS, was not a part of OSHA at all. In fact, OSHA had its own set of standards governing how to label hazardous chemicals to improve safety. As of 2012, however, OSHA aligned their HazCom standards with the globally popular GHS system. This has gone a long way in helping to ensure people from all countries are able to read and understand the various GHS labels, pictograms, safety data sheets, and other information.
OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard
The Hazard Communication Standard from OSHA (1910.1200) was revised specifically to be more consistent with the Globally Harmonized System. This is now often called the GHS-Alignment or GHS-Aligned Hazard Communication Standard.
OSHA says that they made this change in order to further improve the safety and health of workers who interact with hazardous chemicals. Not only do they improve the safety of facilities in the United States, but also those around the world. This was very important due to the fact that facilities are becoming more globally oriented. Many companies have facilities in countries around the world or order various chemicals or components from global industries.
When OSHA made it a requirement to follow the GHS standards, they effectively made it much easier for companies across national boarders to work together. This also improved the overall safety of companies around the world. The United States is the largest economy in the world, which means they both use a massive amount of products made with chemicals, and ship these types of chemicals. By following the GHS standards here, it has helped to make GHS the standard option for companies everywhere. Many global companies will even begin using GHS simply because they do business with other companies in the US, so having one set of standards makes it easier for everyone.
- Are GHS labels required?
- Who developed GHS and who regulates it?
- Why is GHS necessary and important?
- What is GHS compliance?
- What does GHS stand for?
- Can GHS pictograms be black and white?