Technical Information

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The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)

OSHA Hazardous Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200)

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) modified its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) in March 2012 to align with the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).

What is GHS?

In 1992, the harmonization of classification and labeling of chemicals was one of six program areas that were endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly to strengthen international efforts concerning the environmentally sound management of chemicals. GHS provides a global standard for:

  • Defining health, physical and environmental hazards of chemicals
  • Creating classification processes that use available data on chemicals for comparison with the defined hazard criteria
  • Communicating hazard information, as well as protective measures, on labels and safety data sheets (SDS).

What is the impact of GHS to REMA TIP TOP?

All REMA TIP TOP labeled products manufactured after June 1, 2015, will reflect the new GHS labels. OSHA has mandated that material and stock that has been labeled prior to the June 1 deadline can still be distributed up to the Dec. 1, 2015, deadline at which time all hazardous materials will be required to have a GHS compliant label and Safety Data Sheet. This means that until Dec. 1, you may see the old and new style labels as manufacturers work to clear stocked inventories. Your best way to avoid any labeling conflicts is to always FIFO your inventory when receiving new merchandise deliveries. REMA TIP TOP will NOT allow stock- exchange for chemicals with outdated labels.

What changes can customers expect to see?

REMA TIP TOP has already begun the transition to the GHS labels and SDS documentation:

  • Labels will now have pictograms surrounded by a red diamond shaped border for materials that have health or physical hazards.
  • The term material safety data sheet (MSDS) will change to safety data sheet (SDS).
  • GHS requires the adoption of a new 16-section format of SDS as the standard, which is the same as our current REMA TIP TOP MSDS.
  • Certain standardized precautionary statements are required on SDS and labels.

REMA TIP TOP is committed to complying with the requirements of HCS 2012/GHS and is taking every step necessary to ensure that we are prepared to successfully transition to the new GHS label and SDS formats in the U.S. by the June 1 deadline. If you have questions, please contact your sales or customer service representative.

For more information on GHS visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Guide to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals at www.osha.gov