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MSDS Replaced by >>SDS - Safety Data Sheets

Globally Harmonized System

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals or GHS is an internationally agreed-upon system, created by the United Nations. It is designed to replace the various classification and labeling standards used in different countries by using consistent criteria for classification and labeling on a global level. Its development began at the United Nations Rio Conference in 1992, when the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), various governments and other stakeholders met at a United Nations conference.

Before the GHS was created and implemented by the United Nations, there were many different regulations on hazard classification in use in different countries. Whilst those systems may have been similar in content and approach, they resulted in multiple standards and classifications and labels for the same hazard in different countries. Given the extent of international trade in chemicals, and the potential impact on neighboring countries when controls are not implemented, it was determined that a worldwide approach was necessary.


United States: Published the final rule on March 26, 2012 for implementation of GHS. The final rule requires product manufacturers to adopt the standard by June 1, 2015 and product distributors to adopt the standard by December 1, 2015. Workers must be trained by December 1, 2013.

OSHA Website Link: http://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/ghs.html

GHS OSHA Introduction Fact Sheet