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GHS Requirements – The Basics for Labeling

Posted by Amy Harvell on Thursday, September 03, 2015 @ 07:30 AM

In 2013, Wessler provided a webinar on the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) requirements as part of OSHA’s Hazard Communication Program.  These requirements are for employers that have employees working around chemicals.  As a reminder, employers were required to train their employees by December 1, 2013.  If you didn’t…well, better late than never – get employee training through our webinar.

At this point in the implementation process of the GHS requirements, employers should be receiving from the chemical manufacturers updated Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) to replace the existing Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs).  Additionally, manufacturers should be providing updated labels on totes and drums shipped to a site.


OSHA requires chemical containers to be labeled. The implementation of the GHS requirements has changed the information that is needed on a label.  For those containers that are received already labeled from the supplier, simply maintaining the label is the best and easiest option. For tanks or other stationary containers, labels should be affixed to the container or placed in an area easily visible to the worker (i.e. on the wall above or next to the container).

The GHS standards require chemical manufacturers and suppliers to label their drums and totes, but not a tank owned by someone else.  Employers are responsible for maintaining the labels on, tanks, totes and drums and ensuring the labels are legible and the important information is still visible. For labels, you can either purchase labels, receive them from the supplier or make your own.

The below SDS-compliant GHS labels also includes other warning symbols that employees may already be familiar with.  The label information is provided by the manufacturer’s new SDS.  

OSHA Example Label:



DIY Example Label:


Tags: Test, Test, Test, Test,


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