Is Just GHS Good Enough?

Environmental, health, and safety professionals are aiming to update vendor safety data sheets with the latest Globally Harmonized System (GHS) versions for internal hazcom compliance.  However, is knowing simply whether or not an SDS is compliant with OSHA HazCom 2012good enough?  The short answer is, no.

Implemented correctly, there is no such thing as a generic GHS safety data sheet.  Because each country adopted a particular flavor of the international standard, employers are required to have the right GHS document according to their country of business.  For example, organizations here in the U.S. should have the OSHA HazCom 2012 version and organizations in Europe should have an EU CLP version.  Additionally, the SDS should be presented in the country’s native language (that is, the country where the product is being sold), with potentially country-specific exposure controls.  Therefore, to be truly compliant, companies should NOT use an EU GHS-compliant SDS here in the U.S. even if it is written in English and vice versa.

The result is that employers should ensure that their internal GHS transition approach accounts for these country differences or, if they are using a 3rd party vendor, ensure that their vendor is able to track GHS documents down to region, country, language, and exposure controls.

To understand the full details of GHS adoption across the globe, visit the SiteHawk GHS Compliance portal.