There are comprehensive information about a substance or mixture to be used in workplace management, and these are compiled in the essential component of GHS called safety data sheets. GHS is an acronym for Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, and the system would serve to harmonize worldwide the hazard classification criteria and chemical hazard communication elements.
GHS SDS are a must to be prepared in situation when there is a chemical or formulation seen to be hazardous according to the different categories. When the cut off value of the chemical matches with any of the hazard classes, the producer, dealer, importer or exporter must make the GHS safety data sheets.
Countries across the globe are adopting the GHS that the United Nations have recommended with the aim of achieving many objectives.
The health of employees who are involved in the chain of processing, storage, handling and transportation of chemicals are protected through the GHS, and this is one important objective of the system. Another goal of the GHS is to safeguard our environment. There is a unified classification system that will facilitate among countries and borders with the objective of properly identifying chemicals and the hazards that they bring.
Since there are some nations that do not have a system in place for classification and others do have different categorizations, the development of the GHS safety data sheets have the goal of addressing these disparities and create uniformity.
The basis of classification process would consider the intrinsic hazardous element of a single chemical and its formulation, and how it would impact with air, water and other chemicals once there is a reaction and when released to the environment.
For several years, GHS had undergone many revisions that countries may accept aside from introducing their own. Employees are to undergo training in the use and interpretation of the SDS, and how to follow the right process where chemical handling is concern, and this a key component of the system.
Next feature in the system are the recommendations on how to implement it. For example, if an importer distributor are just to receive containers of chemicals that are sealed with GHS labels, it is their duty to make sure that the labels remain intact on the containers.
Distributors and manufacturers of chemicals must be updated with changes of the data where GHS is based on, especially when new data would come out to supersede the old data basis of GHS.
Experts are then needed in preparation of the GHS SDS in order to maintain the purpose of GHS to bring about uniformity in the categorization and classification of chemicals.