What are Some Key Terms Used in GHS?

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, or GHS, is a system that is used to ensure companies throughout the United States are labeling their chemicals the same way. Many of the GHS standards are mandated by OSHA, which is one of the reasons that it is such a popular system. Many different terms are used related to GHS and knowing what they all mean is essential for the proper use of this labeling strategy. The following are among the most commonly used terms in GHS:

  • Safety Data Sheets (or SDS)
  • Pictograms
  • Symbols
  • Signal Words
  • Classes or Classifications
  • Categories
  • Labels
  • Hazard Groups
  • Hazard Statements
  • Precautionary Statements

There are, of course, a variety of other common terms that are used when discussing GHS, but these are among the most important. When implementing GHS into your facility, or when providing training to your employees, making sure that they have a good understanding of each of these terms is critical. It is not only important to ensure that everyone knows the meaning of these terms, but also that they understand how the terms are used within the GHS system.

GHS is a very popular system that is used not only in the United States but also in many other countries around the world (especially those that do business with companies in the US). No matter where your business is located, it will be beneficial to learn some of the key terms used in GHS.


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