Safety – Getting Started & Next Steps

Objectives of the GHS Safety Data Sheets (SDS).

Many countries across the world have adopted the United Nation’s Globally harmonized system of labeling and classifying chemicals. This is done with the aim of achieving several objectives.
One aim of doing this is protecting the health of workers who process, store and transport chemicals. Another aim of this is to safeguard the environment. A common classification enables the proper identification of chemicals and an indication of their hazardous levels. Initially, some countries had no methods of classification. The countries that had classification systems classified their chemicals in a different way than others. As a result, this led to a lot of confusion in handling chemicals and imposing risky situations.

GHS safety data sheets were made after a considerable study. The study aimed at addressing the differences in classification. It aimed at unifying the classification an as well as the categorization while ensuring that the protection levels were still high.

The classification considers the hazardous features of the chemicals as well as their formulation. It also takes into account the reactivity of the chemical with other chemicals, air, and water. GHS SDS was therefore made in a way to protect the people who are in the sectors of production, storage, and transportation, as well as the end user. GHS went through various revisions over years. GHS provides that the hazard must be disclosed fully disregarding the confidential information or proprietary formulations. This is an essential feature especially when training employees how to use SDS and the correct procedures about the handled chemicals and safety labels.

An importer or distributor who receives a sealed chemical container ought to ensure that the labels stay intact. When the chemical container is open, the manufacturer should make sure that the information on the data sheets is available to the workers who handle the chemical.
GHS has no uniform testing method. it relies on the tests that are conducted by internationally accepted agencies. These are OECD as well as WHO. The tests contain information on environmental as well as health hazards. In the case of physical hazards such as flammability and explosives, one may refer to UNSCETDG tests. GHS relies on available data. It also incorporates new data when it comes in place. Manufacturers and distributors therefore ought to keep these changes in mind. There is no need for labeling some chemicals. These include pesticides such as rodenticide and fungicides since they fall under special acts.

GHS has brought a lot of benefits in chemical categorization and classification. It is also complex with anomalies as well as exemptions widely. Experts are therefore required to prepare fully compliant GHS SDS labels. The experts will also guard the proprietary formulations as they take care of exceptions and anomalies.
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