What is GHS?

GHS refers to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. It is an international approach to hazard communication, providing agreed criteria for classification of chemical hazards, and a standardized approach to label elements and safety data sheets.

The GHS will establish new rules for hazardous chemicals in transportation, workplace use and consumer use, as well as special rules for pesticides. GHS also includes new Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), or Safety Data Sheet (SDS), requirements and new hazard symbols. It comprises standards for:

  • Classifying chemicals
  • Symbols for hazards
  • Labeling requirements
  • Safety Data Sheet requirements

Who is affected by GHS? Who has to comply with GHS?

GHS affects any company who has chemicals in the workplace. All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must have labels and safety data sheets for their workers, and train them to handle the chemicals appropriately.

What are the major changes to the Hazard Communication Standard?

Hazard Classification – The definitions of hazard have been changed to provide specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards, as well as classification of mixtures. These specific criteria will help to ensure that evaluations of hazardous effects are consistent across manufacturers, and that labels and safety data sheets are more accurate as a result.

Labels – Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements must also be provided.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) – Now have a specified 16-section format.

Can Ellsworth Adhesives provide SDS documentation in bulk for all products that I purchased from Ellsworth Adhesives?

Ellsworth Adhesives is able to provide SDS documentation, when available from the manufacturer, for products that you purchased in the past 6 months. Please request through your Customer Service Representative or Account Specialist. Ellsworth Adhesives will continue to work with suppliers to ensure updated SDS documentation is provided with product.

Where can I find more information?

More information on the hazard communication standard can be found on OSHA’s GHS page at: Or feel free to contact your Ellsworth Adhesives Customer Service Representative at 800-888-0698 or


SDS/TDS LibraryDirective CPL 02-02-079

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