GHS Compliance Resources

GHS, SDS, Deadlines & Compliance - Help is out there  
With OSHA SDS deadlines looming, transitioning your MSDS to the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) might appear challenging. Fortunately, help is out there with a range of free and low cost options designed to make compliance much easier. Any company required to create a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is subjected to OSHA’s new regulation associated with the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals law (GHS). By mid-2015, any company that sells products containing regulated hazardous substances is required to:
1. Re-classify its components and products according to the OSHA GHS hazard classification schema
2. Re-author all of its safety data sheets
3. Re-label all of its products

For many companies, this is a complex and time-consuming process requiring a deep understanding of the regulation, detailed knowledge of the make-up of their products (including raw materials), and updating IT systems to support compliance.

I have put together a sort list of resources for EHS professionals to help. If you have any to add, please email them to me at: ehsdirector(at) 

The main GHS regulation information site is:
Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals

For the "Regulation (EC) on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives

GHS on Wikipedia had the best breakdown of symbols and definitions. Here are the short links:

Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals

GHS hazard pictograms

GHS hazard statement

Precautionary statements

Tool for Chemical Hazard & Precautionary Phrases in 23 European languages

MSDS/SDS - GHS Compliance Links and Information:OSHA's GHS breakdown webpage:

Product DetailsThe Hazard Communication Answer Book (Answer Books)
Mark Moran was kind enough to send me his new book about helping the public comply with the new OSHA / GHS Hazard Communication Standards. His book laid out an easy path to compliance filled with various document and SDS examples. He even included the full OSHA standard on CD 

You can grab his book here at Amazon along with his other award winning safety guides
I also used Alfonso Lerma's FREE GHS kit that provides EH&S professionals with timely information & valuable resources.
On this site resources:
The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) finally makes its debut. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of time yet to comply.
OSHA has announced that the final rule for GHS, or Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, will become law effective May 25, 2012.
The effective date of the final rule is 60 days after March 26, the date of the rule’s publication in the Federal Register.
The new GHS rule will be added to OSHA’s existing hazard communication standard, or worker right-to-know law.
OSHA says the GHS rule will help prevent 43 worker fatalities and 585 occupational injuries and illnesses from chemical exposures every year.
According to OSHA, the GHS rule will affect over 5 million workplaces and 40 million workers.
There are two primary groups of employers that will be affected by the GHS rule:
  • 90,000 employers that are chemical manufacturers, importers and distributors
  • 5 million other employers where their employees use, handle, or store chemicals
OSHA will allow employers the following phase-in or transition period to comply with the new GHS requirements:
  • December 1, 2013 - All employers that use, handle, store chemicals.  Train employees about the new chemical labels and safety data sheets or SDSs (formally material safety data sheets or MSDSs).
  • June 1, 2015 - Chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors Comply with all the requirements of the GHS rule, except compliance with GHS label requirements for distributors by December 1, 2015.
  • December 1, 2015 - Chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors  All shipments of chemical containers must include the GHS-compliant label (signal word, pictogram, hazard statement, and precautionary statement).
  • June 1, 2016 - All employers that use, handle, store chemicals Update alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program as necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards.
Options During Transition
During the phase-in period, employers would be required to be in compliance with either the existing hazard communication standard or the revised standard with GHS, or both.
OSHA recognizes that hazard communication programs will go through a period of time where labels and SDSs under both standards will be present in the workplace. This will be considered acceptable, and employers are not required to maintain two sets of labels and SDSs for compliance purposes.
Read more by by John Gran (@FishSouthBay) at:


Mark Moran contacted me awhile back about helping the public comply with the new OSHA / GHS Hazard Communication Standards.
After a great discussion on how we came from similar backgrounds (our fathers  helped implement our nations first environmental and safety standards)... we got down to discussing his new book.

Mark asked if I could help get the word out on his new book that helps answer the tough questions about the new OSHA Hazard Communication Standards.
I let Mark know, I do not post any direct marketing, advertisements, endorsements, donations or promotions on my EHS network. I believe the information that the world needs to protect ourselves and our planet should be free and at the fingertips of everyone.
But, I did tell Mark that I would be happy to read and write a review for the book. I also told him I would give away my copy to a worthy cause*.

Want my copy of Marks new book "Hazard Communication Answer Book"?
Send me your story and I will send you the book*. Product Details

  • Keep it Short - One page
  • Keep it Personal - Why did you become a safety professional or how have safety programs saved or improved you or the lives around you
  • Keep it Sweet - Leave out names and keep it uplifting
  • There is only one copy to give away... so best story wins the book.
Email them to me here... and the best story (*ONE only) will get a great book and I will share your story with the world.
Christopher Haase