Globally Harmonized System requirements are prevalent across various industries to meet global regulatory labeling and tracking challenges. Although it is common, many people still get a little confused about what GHS is exactly.

GHS allows companies across the globe to have one common, coherent framework for classifying and communicating information related to chemicals. GHS requirements also applies to safety data sheets, but in this article we will only be focusing on labels.

In this article, we are going to explain the six components of a GHS label, as these are common across the board when it comes to GHS labeling.

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6 Components of a GHS Label

1. Product identifier/ingredient disclosure

This component of the GHS label is typically placed in the top left-hand corner of the label, and it identifies the hazardous chemical or ingredient that is in this product.

It can state the name, code number, or batch number. This allows for the chemical to be confidently identified.

2. Signal word

A signal word is used to notify the severity of the hazard. There are only two words that might hold this place on the label: “Danger” (severe hazard) or “Warning” (less severe hazard).

Only one word will be on each label, to ensure it is clear to the user the severity of the hazardous chemical.

3. Hazard statements

Hazard statements describe the degree of danger and potential symptoms, should there be direct contact with the chemical.

There will likely be multiple statements per label. Additionally, it is a requirement that the statements stay consistent with each classification category.

4.  Precautionary statements

This will typically be presented as a short paragraph of instructions on how workers and users should minimize exposure to reduce the risk of harm from the chemical inside.

There are four different types of precautionary statements that might show up on these labels:

  • The prevention statement instructs the user on how to minimize exposure
  • The response statement describes the procedure might you be exposed to the chemical
  • The storage statement describes the storage requirements for the chemical in detail
  • The disposal statement describes how the chemical should be disposed of properly

5. Supplier information

Supplier information includes contact information such as name, address, and phone number of the chemical manufacturer, supplier, or importer in which you got the chemical from.

This gives the user full disclosure of where the chemical came from in case a problem or emergency occurs.

6. Pictograms

Pictograms are comprised of a hazard symbol with a red border to visually illustrate specific hazards of the chemical, making this a universally readable label.

There are various pictograms that can be included on the label, and depending on the chemical, a single label can contain more than one if the chemical has multiple hazards.

Below is a chart depicting and describing the approved pictograms for GHS Labels:

On every GHS label, you will need to account for these six components. These allow for complete transparency to the user or the company that buys harsh chemicals that require regulation.

We hope that after reading this article, you have a better understanding of these elements of the label, and why they are so important.

Computype has spent over forty years prioritizing the safety of a wide range of industries through GHS compliance.

We have the trusted expertise when it comes to complying with Globally Harmonized System for classification and labeling of chemicals. In addition to promoting safety, efficiencies and workflows are also improved with the correct and legal labeling of these substances.

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About author Chelsea Payeur

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