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Why was the GHS developed?
The production and use of chemicals is fundamental to all economies. The global chemical business is more than a $1.7 trillion per year enterprise. In the U.S., chemicals are more than a $450 billion business and exports are greater than $80 billion per year.
Chemicals both directly and indirectly affect our lives and are essential to our food, our health, and our lifestyle. The widespread use of chemicals has resulted in the development of sector-specific regulations (transport, production, workplace, agriculture, trade, and consumer products). Having readily available information and recommended control measures on the hazardous properties of chemicals allows the production, transport, use, and disposal of chemicals to be managed safely. Thus, human health and the environment are protected.
The sound management of chemicals should include systems through which chemical hazards are identified and communicated to all who are potentially exposed. These groups include workers, consumers, emergency responders, and the public. It is important to know which chemicals are present and/or being used, their hazards to human health and the environment, and the means to control them. A number of classification and labeling systems, each addressing specific use patterns and groups of chemicals, exist at the national, regional, and international levels. The existing hazard classification and labeling systems address potential exposure to chemicals in all types of use settings listed above.
While the existing laws and regulations are similar, they are different enough to require multiple labels for the same product both within the U.S. and in international trade and to require multiple safety data sheets for the same product in international trade. Several U.S. regulatory agencies and various countries have different requirements for hazard definitions as well as for information to be included on labels or material safety data sheets.
In an effort to help you prepare for the OSHA mandated changes, Accuform presents a 1-hour webinar featuring author and GHS expert, Michele R. Sullivan, Ph.D.
Go to our GHS section
Click here to download the Accuform informational pdf
GHS Key Points pdf
Click here for a read-only pdf of the slidedeck
Click here for a read-only pdf of the slidedeck in handout form
Michele R. Sullivan, Ph.D. is a recognized expert in domestic and international hazard communication and author of numerous MSDS and GHS Guidance Manuals. She testified as an expert witness at the Senate Subcommittee hearing on “Hazard Communication in the Workplace”. Dr. Sullivan participated in the ANSI Z400.1 MSDS and Z129.1 Labeling Standards development and training. She participated on the NACOSH Hazard Communication Work Group that advised OSHA about 29 CFR 1910.1200, the Hazard Communication Standard. In the transportation area her experience includes: participation at the United Nations Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods (UNCETDG); a rapporteur for the Ottawa meeting on the Harmonization of Physical Hazards. Michele developed GHS situational analyses for USA regulations and designed GHS training for Asia-Pacific countries.
Dr. Sullivan's GHS activities include: industry member of the USA delegation to the Earth Summit pre-conferences, the IOMC Coordinating Group on the Harmonization of Chemical Classification Systems, the OECD Task Force on the Harmonization of Classification and Labeling and the ILO Working Group for the Harmonization of Chemical Hazard Communication. She is listed on the UN Roster of GHS Experts. Her professional activities are related to Society for Chemical Hazard Communication (SCHC): recipient of the SCHC Distinguished Lecturer Award for outstanding contributions to the field of hazard communication; a SCHC Board Member and former Chairwoman & President of SCHC; professional development instructor and HAZCOM 101/GHS course director.
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