What are GHS Hazard Groupings?

When learning about the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) you will notice that there are many different types of hazards associated with chemicals. To help make it easier to identify and deal with different risks, the GHS system groups similar types of hazards together so they can be dealt with at the same time. There are three main groupings within GHS: physical hazards, health hazards, and environmental hazards.

Physical hazards are when a chemical can cause some type of physical harm to people in the area, to the surrounding area itself, or both. For example, if a chemical can cause a fire or explosion, that is an example of a physical hazard.

Health hazards are when exposure could cause some type of health issues to the people who experience it. This could be anything ranging from skin irritation to respiratory issues. It will also include chemicals that can cause an increased risk of cancer or other health problems due to either one-time or long-term exposure.

Environmental hazards are those that will impact the surrounding environment. While these hazards can apply to any type of environmental area, they reference aquatic impact most commonly. This includes chemicals that can cause a water supply to be toxic and would apply to rivers, streams, lakes, and even underground water supplies.

Understanding the different GHS hazard groupings will help you to more easily identify the dangers associated with chemicals. This can help to ensure you do everything you can to mitigate these hazards and keep your workplace as safe as possible.

 

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