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).
- GHS Pictograms
(these allow for a quick hazard determination)
- GHS Hazard Statements
(= standardized phrases about the hazards of a chemical)
- GHS Precautionary Statements
(= standardized phrases giving advice about the correct handling of a chemical)
- GHS Health Hazard Classes (subdivided by Hazard Categories with associated Signal Word, Hazard Statement, and Pictogram):
- GHS Physical Hazard Classes (subdivided by Hazard Categories with associated Signal Word, Hazard Statement, and Pictogram):