On January 1st in 2017, manufacturers and suppliers of chemicals in Australia and across the world will be legally required to adopt and comply with a universal system of classifying their product(s) as well as their chemical labels and safety data sheets. While it has been implemented here since 2012, the GHS system will become compulsory after December 31st 2016. So the question must be asked – are you GHS ready? If not, speak to the specialists on GHS in Australia, Chemical Safety International.

What is GHS?

GHS stands for the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. The goal of this system is that the same set of rules for classifying hazards – and the same format and content for labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS) – will be adopted and used consistently in Australia and around the world.

GHS establishes a number of standardised classifications of hazard classes and categories that are referred to as ‘building blocks’. Each jurisdiction is free to decide which building blocks they wish to adopt in their classification system. This means that although GHS is a globally harmonised system, the final chemical classification system used in Australia or any particular country would be dependent on the building blocks adopted. It can also mean that the hazard class of a chemical might change in the transition from SDS to GHS.

Speak to Chemical Safety International about adopting GHS compliance now

Manufacturers, importers and suppliers in Australia and across the globe need to ensure that the correct GHS classification criteria and building block requirements are used to determine the final classification of a product for a particular jurisdiction. Furthermore, they will need to ensure that GHS chemical labels and SDS comply with GHS requirements in accordance with the country-specific regulations of the jurisdiction in which they intend to sell their products.

After GHS implementation, SDS and chemical labels will share common elements. While this standardisation should simplify education and training after the transition period is over, employees will need training on both systems until the transition is complete.

Chemical Safety International can provide you with valuable assistance if you need to review your obligations and responsibilities under GHS in Australia. For more information, feel free to contact us online.