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what is a GHS label

The globally harmonised system (GHS) is a successful attempt by the UN to regulate all chemicals via proper labelling and signposting across borders. Currently, it supersedes EU classification standards, so it’s essential that if you or your business handles chemicals they comply with GHS standards.

What is a GHS Label?

A GHS label is, in layman’s terms, a mechanism that ensures chemicals are labelled safely and convey the right information quickly. A GHS label is simultaneously a warning to prevent injury and an action plan if injury has occurred. Other details include storage and disposal protocols. In essence, GHS labels are a comprehensive but brief review of all safety aspects related to the chemical in question.

What is On a GHS Label?

A GHS label is easily identifiable. The label must contain the following six identifiers to pass as a GHS label:

  • Product Identifier – Placed on the upper-left side of the label, this identifies the chemical with an appropriate term, including chemical name, code number and/or batch number.
  • Signal Word – Signal words come in two forms: “Danger” and “Warning”. The more severe of these is “Danger”, so it is reserved for potentially life-changing chemicals.
  • Hazard Statements – This describes the nature and degree of the hazard.
  • Precautionary Statements – All GHS labels should come with precautionary statements, including a method of minimising exposure, an action plan of what to do in case of exposure, storage information and information relating to proper disposal.
  • Supplier Information – Name, address and telephone number of the chemical manufacturer.
  • Pictograms – Standardised pictograms consisting of a red border with appropriate pictograms for the hazard. Multiple pictograms can be used on any one label.

Uses for GHS Labels

GHS labels are utilised anywhere where chemicals are used. Whether it’s a professional lab, a cleaning company, or a factory floor, if chemicals are there, then there needs to be GHS labels in place. They are pushed as the gold standard by the UN for a reason – they reduce workplace accidents and help save lives.

Label Source has a 25-year pedigree in the industry, meaning we have an extensive range of GHS labels and pictograms. In addition, follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the latest health and safety news.