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GHS Update: Time to Think About Training

Source: https://safetydailyadvisor.blr.com

by Chris Kilbourne

If you haven’t already begun GHS training for employees, you have less than 8 months to get it done. Here’s a quick review of key training issues.

If you use, handle, store chemicals in your workplace, you have until the end of this year (December 1) to train employees about the new GHS-compliant chemical labels and safety data sheets (SDSs). The deadline for training is December 1, 2013.

Here’s a quick review of what employees need to learn about the SDS and new GHS labels.

Safety Data Sheets

  • Section 1—Identification—includes product identifier, manufacturer or distributor name, address, phone number, emergency phone number, recommended use, and restrictions on use
  • Section 2—Hazard(s) identification—includes all hazards regarding the chemical and required label elements
  • Section 3—Composition/Information on ingredients—includes information on chemical ingredients and trade secret claims
  • Section 4—First-aid measures—includes important immediate or delayed symptoms of exposure to a chemical and the required first aid treatment
  • Section 5—Fire-fighting measures—lists suitable extinguishing techniques, equipment, and chemical hazards from fire
  • Section 6—Accidental release measures—lists emergency procedures, protective equipment, and proper methods of containment and cleanup
  • Section 7—Handling and storage—lists precautions for safe handling and storage, including incompatibilities
  • Section 8—Exposure controls/Personal protection—lists OSHA’s permissible exposure limits (PELs), threshold limit values (TLVs), appropriate engineering controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Section 9—Physical and chemical properties—lists the chemical’s characteristics
  • Section 10—Stability and reactivity—lists chemical stability and possible hazardous reactions
  • Section 11—Toxicological information—includes routes of exposure (inhalation, ingestion, or absorption contact), symptoms, acute and chronic effects, and numerical measures of toxicity
  • Section 12—Ecological information—how the chemical might affect the environment and the duration of the effect
  • Section 13—Disposal considerations—describes safe handling of wastes and methods of disposal, including the disposal of any contaminated packaging
  • Section 14—Transportation information—includes packing, marking, and labeling requirements for hazardous chemical shipments
  • Section 15—Regulatory information—indicates regulations that apply to chemical
  • Section 16—Other information—includes date of preparation or last revision


  • Product identifier gives a name or number that enables you to identify the chemical and cross-reference the label to the SDS.
  • Supplier information tells you the name, address, and phone number of the manufacturer, importer, or other responsible party.
  • First aid information can help you act quickly and effectively in an emergency.
  • In case of fire, the label tells you how to extinguish it.
  • Signal word indicates the severity of the hazard.
  • Hazard statements describe the nature of the hazards.
  • Pictograms convey specific hazard information using symbols or graphics.
  • Precautionary statements describe recommended measures to minimize or prevent injury or illness due to exposure to the chemical or from improper handling or storage.