GHS – Hazard Communication Overview

Coposite of hazard signs.The OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is now aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).

  • The HCS requires all manufacturers or distributors of any product that contains chemicals to evaluate the chemical hazards of the product.
  • The identified hazards must be communicated on the container label and in documents called Safety Data Sheets (access to St. Olaf Safety Data Sheets).
  • Hazard Classes. The communicated hazards are assigned to one (or more) of nine health hazard classes and 16 physical hazard classes.
  • Hazard Categories.  Each Hazard Class is subdivided into Hazard Categories.
    • These Categories are ranked based on hazard severity, with Category 1 as the most severe.
    • Each Hazard Category has an associated Signal Word, Pictogram, Hazard Statement, and Precautionary Statement(s).

Comparison of NFPA 704 and HazCom 2012 Labels
IMPORTANT: The GHS and NFPA numbering systems are opposite.

GHS Health Hazards Table Image

GHS Physical Hazards Table Image