What does GHS stand for?

In manufacturing and other industries, the acronym GHS stands for Globally Harmonized System. It is also often called the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals because it is a set of standards used when labeling systems. This system was developed by people and companies from many different nations and authorities in order to help make a single standard that can be understood throughout the world.

GHS drum

Used Widely by Regulatory Agencies

While GHS itself was not developed by any single government agency, it has been adopted by many throughout the world. OSHA in the United States, for example, requires the use of GHS labeling for hazardous chemicals. This is because OSHA (and many other agencies) recognize the benefit of following the globally harmonized system rather than coming up with their own unique set of standards.

Industrial chemicals are used and shipped around the world, which is one of the reasons that the GHS is so critical. Without this one set of standards to follow, these types of products would have to be relabeled whenever entering or leaving a country. The other option would be to have a different label for each country that it will be going to, which would be inefficient and confusing.

Creating GHS Labels & Signs

Any facility that uses dangerous chemicals should be using GHS labeling and signs to alert people to the potential hazards. In many cases, using these types of labels will be required by OSHA, but even when that is not the case, it is a very smart thing to consider. These labels can be placed directly on the container holding the chemicals, on the shipping container, or on the truck that is transporting the chemicals.

Depending on the environment where they are needed, you can either buy pre-made GHS labels and signs, or print them off yourself as you need them. Many facilities will use an industrial label maker to create the specific GHS compliant labels that are required for their company.


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GHS Guide
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