Significance of GHS Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

06 Nov

A lot of countries around the world have started using the UN globally harmonized system for classifying and labeling chemicals.  This is done to attain some objectives.

This mainly protects the employees who store, process and transports the chemicals.  Another aim of this is to safeguard the environment.  A unified classification system enhances trace across borders and the proper identification of hazardous levels of different chemicals.  Initially, some countries had no methods of classification.  Other countries on the other had different methods of chemical classification.  As a result, this led to a lot of confusion in handling chemicals and imposing risky situations. 

GHS safety data sheets confined space permits were developed based on an extensive study.  The main aim of the study was to address the impartialities in classification.  It aimed at unifying the classification an as well as the categorization while ensuring that the protection levels were still high.

The classification takes into account the intrinsically hazardous properties of individual chemicals and their formulation.  It also takes into account the reactivity of the chemical with other chemicals, air, and water.  GHS SDS were therefore developed in a way to protect those in the processing sector, storage, transportation as well as the end user.  GHS went through various revisions over years.  According to GHS rules, the content of the hazard should be properly disclosed without caring whether the confidential, as well as proprietary formulations, are exposed. This is a key feature in training employees in the use of SDS and the right procedures relating to the chemicals handled and included in the safety data sheets as well as safety labels. To read more on the significance of SDS, visit

An importer or distributor who receives a sealed chemical container ought to ensure that the labels stay intact.  In case the container is open, a manufacturer should ensure that the safety data sheets are easily available to the employers handling the chemical.

GHS does not have a uniform testing method.  it relies on the tests that are conducted by internationally accepted agencies.  They include OECD and WHO.  The tests contain information on environmental as well as health hazards.  UNSCETDG tests are used for flammability, explosives, and other physical hazards.  GHS relies on available data.  When new data comes in place, it also uses it.  Therefore, distributors and manufacturers should keep these changes in mind.  Some chemicals do not need to be labelled.  These include rodenticides, fungicides and other pesticides. 

As it is evident above, GHSD has a lot of benefits in chemical classification and categorization.  It is also widely complex with exceptions and anomalies. With this, it is required that it is experts who should prepare GHS and SDS labels that are fully compliant.  The experts also guard thee proprietary formulations when taking care of the exceptions.

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