Global Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals
Industrial painting contractors and epoxy flooring contractors often deal with hazardous liquids. But at first glance, many of these liquids can appear to be harmless buckets of thick, colored liquid. But once you begin to see what they liquids are made of, you’ll be more aware of their potential to harm and cause damage to your health.
So, in an initiative to make anyone handling these items safer, the United Nations created the GSH (Global Harmonized System) of labeling. This labeling was designed to be legible for anyone, anywhere, so that anyone using these materials could understand the potential hazards.
What’s On The Can?
GSH Labeling Elements
The GHS label contains specific elements that help you identify what dangers are associated with the handling of each specific product:
- Product Identifier: The product identifier lets the user know the name of the product, and even it’s GHS number.
- Signal Words: The signal word is used to alert the user of the immediate danger that is associated with the specific product.
- Hazard Statements: This is a more detailed description on what dangers the Signal Words are emphasizing.
- Precautionary Statements: These statements are meant to inform the user of measure to minimize or prevent adverse effects if the person comes in excessive exposure with the product.
- GHS Pictograms: These images are designed to immediately alert the user of the potential hazards and dangers associated with the product being used. These pictograms are meant to distill immediate awareness, so that the user isn’t restricted from knowing the dangers due to language limitations.
- Supplier Identification: Every product needs to be linked to a supplier. So on each label, there is a a location for the supplier to list his information.
And this is the common DNA for each GHS label. And you can see, they are designed to inform the user from potentially hazardous situations, and also inform them on how to handle situations that may involve indirect contact with the material.
The pictograms displayed on the GHS label are the global communicator for health and wellness when dealing with the products. Typically, they will express flammability, toxicity, explosiveness, corrosives, health hazards, and other signs that these are dangerous products.
Here are some of the most common GHS Pictograms that can be found on the GHS Labeling Guide:
Flame Pictorgram – This emblem suggests that the material being handled is flammable and should be kept away from open flames.
Skull & Crossbones – This emblem suggests that the material is highly toxic, and can cause serious illness including death is it comes in close contact with a person.
Health Hazard – This is another toxicity emblem that implies that the material is toxic and hazardous, but not necessarily enough to destroy you.
Environment – This symbol let’s the user know that the material being used can cause negative effects to the surrounding environment. So material like this should never be irresponsibly dumped down a drain or sewer.
And there are many more pictograms that should be learned if you plan on handling more material items in the near future.