In 2012, the United States adopted the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) and revised the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to align with GHS. The GHS system, created by the United Nations, standardizes hazard classification systems around the world.
As of June 1, 2016, all schools with chemicals must be compliant with the new HCS 2012 chemical classification guidelines. The changes to the HCS include:
1. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) to Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)
The previous Material Safety Data Sheet format is now Safety Data Sheets. SDSs follow a standardized format and include the dangers involved in storing, handling, disposing, consuming, transporting, and combining a particular chemical or product, as well as vital first aid information to first responders and physicians.
2. Chemical Safety Labels
The new labels for chemicals will include a pictogram to identify the type of hazard associated with a specific chemical, for preventative and protective health and safety measures.
3. Employee Training
Schools are required to train employees on the new GHS changes, especially on how to read the new SDSs and chemical labels. Employees should have a strong understanding of the new GHS pictograms and be able to explain what each means.
SafeSchools SDS is our online SDS and chemical management system, accessible from any web-enabled device, and is compliant with GHS:
Protect your school community with a well-organized and easily accessible SDS system. Click here to learn more and watch a product overview video.
Our SafeSchools Online Staff Training System offers a Hazard Communications: Right to Understand course as well as a Safety Data Sheets course to help train your employees on the new GHS changes.