OSHA Adopts New Global Hazard Communication Standards

The United States Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) approved new regulations associated with hazard communication and adopted the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals(GHS). The GHS is part of an overall global program to harmonize product warnings and labeling across regions throughout the world. The advantages of adopting GHS are that product warnings will be more consistent with common identification, nomenclature, and warnings. This site is designed to provide a brief overview of the new GHS standards. We provide links to key OSHA sites where you can find out more on the specifics of the new Hazard Communication Standards and what your requirements are as an employer.

Major changes to the Hazard Communication Standard

  • Hazard classification: Provides specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards, as well as classification of mixtures.
  • Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements must also be provided.
  • Safety Data Sheets: Will now have a specified 16-section format.
  • Information and training: Employers are required to train workers by December 1, 2013 on the new labels elements and safety data sheets format to facilitate recognition and understanding.

When will Zep Inc begin implementing the new GHS Hazard Communications Standard? Work has already begun at Zep Inc in preparation for the new GHS Standards. Look for labels and associated SDS to begin appearing on Zep Inc labels in 2014.

Will Zep provide training for my employees? Zep cannot provide OSHA training for customers. There are, however, a number of tools customers can use on the OSHA website at In addition, there are numerous third-party providers of GHS training specifically designed for small businesses that may be accessed through the web.

To find out more about the new GHS Standards click on one of the links below:

Frequently Asked GHS Questions: