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GHS Compliant Labels

The GHS is a set of guidelines for ensuring the safe production, transport, handling, use and disposal of hazardous chemicals in the workplace. OSHA embraced this global labeling and classification system for chemicals in 2012 with an update to the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), but instituted a gradual adoption process to give companies time to make the needed changes. The biggest changes brought on by the GHS for most organizations are modifications to chemical labels and safety data sheets. The upcoming June deadline involves the implementation of universal labels. Chemical manufacturers and companies that fill containers must apply new GHS compliant hazard labels to all filled containers starting June 1st, 2015. From then on, you will no longer be able to transport chemicals without these new labels. In the United States alone, chemicals account for more than $450 billion in economic activity, and exports are greater than $80 billion per year ( Any disruption due to outdated labels will not only be costly, it will have been completely avoidable.

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The Label


Under the OSHA guidlines, GHS labels must provide the following information:


5. Supplier Identification.

The supplier identification includes the name, address and telephone number that can be used to locate or communicate with the manufacturer or supplier.

6. Pictograms. 

 Pictograms are combinations of graphical elements that convey information about the product’s hazards. GHS hazard pictograms are a black symbol on a white field within a red diamond. Please see below for a full list of pictograms.

Other Elements. GHS permits competent authorities to require or allow additional information and specify where it must be presented on the product label as long as it does not impede, contradict or confuse the standard information. Examples include: transport pictograms, precautionary pictograms, first-aid recommendations, universal product codes, general usage information, etc.


1. Product Identifier. 

The product identifier must match the identifier on the safety data sheet and include the chemical identity of the substance or ingredients in a mixture that contribute to the product’s hazards.

2. Signal Word.

Signal words indicate the severity of the product’s hazard. “Danger” indicates severe hazards while “Warning” indicates less sever hazards.

3. Hazard Statements. 

Hazard statements are assigned based on the nature of the product’s hazards.

4. Precautionary Statements.

Precautionary statements inform the reader about how to prevent or minimize the negative effects of storing or handling the product unsafely. They fall into four categories: prevention, response, storage, and disposal.

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GHS Compliant Label Example

The Pictograms


  • Skin Corrosion/Burns

  • Eye Damage

  • Corrosive To Metals


Exclamation Mark

  • Irritant (Skin & Eyes)

  • Skin Sensitizer

  • Acute Toxicity (Harmful)

  • Narcotic Effects

  • Respiratory Tract Irritant

  • Hazardous To Ozone Layer (Non-Mandatory)


Exploding Bomb

  • Explosives

  • Self-Reactives

  • Organic Peroxides


Skull & Crossbones

  • Acute Toxicity (Fatal or Toxic)



  • Flammable

  • Pyrophorics

  • Self-Heating

  • Emits Flammable Gas

  • Self-Reactives

  • Organic Peroxides


Gas Cylinder

  • Gases Under Pressure



  • Acute Toxicity (Fatal or Toxic)


Health Hazards

  • Carcinogen

  • Mutagenicity

  • Reproductive Toxicity

  • Respiratory Sensitizer

  • Target Organ Toxicity

  • Aspiration Toxicity


Flame Over Circle

  • Oxidizer


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