GHS Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
GHS is an acronym which stands for Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. It approaches the hazard communication at an international level. In a greater perspective, it entails providing criteria which should be used to classify chemical hazards. It also provides an approach in elements labeling routines and safety data sheets. Communication experts from all over the world standardized and outlined the system. International organizations and other stakeholders also had input in the process. It was integrated with other existing standards from other systems in the world.
GHS is also referred to as the purple book. Standardized order of information on safety data sheets is a component of the document. Classification criteria for health, physical and environmental risks that can be imposed by the chemicals are also outlined in the document. Another component of the document is the standardized label elements that are assigned to the risk classes and divisions. As a result, the document, therefore, has appropriate signal words, pictorials and hazard and precautionary statements which can be used to communicate effectively on hazards to the users.
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) is the former name for Safety Data Sheet (SDS). The main reason for changing the term was to accommodate the information gotten from different countries. Improving the information received from different countries is the main reason for the name change. The advantage of standardizing labels and Safety Data Sheets is the enhancement of information conveyed to and from the different countries. GHS and international standards aimed at harmonizing the different standards established nationally and internationally.This will promote better global communication. This enhances better global communication.
A (Material) Safety Data Sheet is a system that contains information regarding the properties of a specific substance. Users of the chemicals are provided with the safe handling procedures of these chemicals. It is a requirement in any workplace for safety and product stewardship. The content of the SDS include physical data, health effects, toxicity, storage and safe disposal.
Some of the requirements that the SDSs should meet is that they should be readily available for reference in the area where the chemicals are being stored or in use. This enhances the storage safety of these chemicals and spill-handling procedures. In addition, these SDSs should not be designed for the generic users only. It should be designed in a manner that anyone that comes across these chemicals can understand their hazards and handling requirements. It is especially crucial for the personnel working in confined workplaces. Safety in these working environment becomes the result of all that.
How these SDSs are managed is very crucial. Some companies have opted to adopt the different software that have been developed by different individuals. But before one can use these soft wares it is very important to determine whether these soft wares meet the international standards set by the GHS.
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