Some Background Information about GHS Safety Data Sheets
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. Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, or in short GHS, is a system that harmonizes the criteria of hazard classification and chemical hazard communication elements all over the world.
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. There must be a preparation of GHS safety data sheets, to be done by the manufacturer, dealer, importer or exporter, when there is a match of the cut off value of chemical with the various hazard classifications.
In order to achieve many objectives, the United Nations have recommended the GHS to nations across the globe for adaptation.
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. The next purpose of GHS is to safeguard the 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.
The development of the GHS safety data sheets will aim to address disparities and bring about uniformity among countries which do not have a system of classification in place and of those that have different methods of classifications.
Because of the intrinsic hazardous property of a chemical, the classification process is aimed to consider how it would impact with air, water, and other chemicals once mixed, plus its impact when released into the environment.
For several years, GHS had undergone many revisions that countries may accept aside from introducing their own. As a key feature of the system, workers who are handling chemicals are to be trained in the use and interpretation of SDS, and to know the right procedures in their handling of the chemicals.
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.