Over the coming year Agar Cleaning Systems will be altering its Hazardous Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and some of its hazardous product labels to comply with the new format called the Globally Harmonized System (GHS).
The GHS is an internationally agreed system designed to unify the range of diverse systems of classification and hazard communication currently used throughout the world. Manufacturers and importers of non-retail hazardous chemicals will need to re-classify and re-label them while all SDSs for hazardous products will need to be updated to meet the new requirements.
The GHS is intended to improve international health and safety outcomes through the use of consistent hazardous communication. Product hazards will be communicated through a set of symbols and signal words as well as hazard statements and precautionary statements.
The transition to the new system for hazardous products must be completed by 1 January 2017 in most states of Australia. Over the coming year, Agar will be reclassifying and relabelling some of its hazardous products as well as updating all of its hazardous Safety Data Sheets.
1. Agar will be changing its HAZARDOUS products’ SDS into GHS format and into a new design (pictured right). The non-hazardous products already have the GHS information and Agar will not be changing the design.
2. Hazardous product labels will not change to GHS unless they are on products that will not be sold to retail consumers. The GHS system applies to products that are sold into and used in the workplace only. Products that are sold via retail and distributors will keep the same design as the current labels. i.e., conform with the SUSMP (Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons) which controls labelling of poisons in the retail area. So, for example, Agar will change the labels on Hook Clean and Concrete Clean 200L, but not DLX 5L.
Key Points of the GHS-
What is the GHS?
Set up by the United Nations (UN), the GHS is an internationally unified system for classifying and labelling hazardous products and communicating their associated risks.
What will it affect?
Product classification, product labels and Safety Data Sheets.
When will it take effect?
All hazardous products should be transitioned over to the new GHS by 1 January 2017.
Safe Work Australia, Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). Available from: <http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/whs-information/hazardous-chemicals/ghs/pages/ghs> [19 November 2015]