Globally Harmonized System of Chemical Classification and Labeling of Chemicals
What is GHS?
GHS is the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) developed by the United Nations and internationally agreed upon. It was developed to promote a universal standard for hazard classification and hazard communication around the world. However, the standard is not compulsory and participating countries are allowed to adopt only portions of it. Therefore, while GHS is a significant step toward the development of a single global standard, GHS will not lead to true global harmonization of hazard classification and hazard communication.
Is GHS relevant to North America?
Yes. In May 2012, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) aligned its existing hazard communication standard with GHS. The result is the new Hazard Communication Standard 2012 (HazCom 2012).
In February 2015, Health Canada aligned its existing hazard communication standard with GHS. The result is the new Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System 2015 (WHMIS 2015).
OSHA and Health Canada adopted only portions of the GHS. They will now require one standardized format for Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and prescribed wording and hazard symbols on labels. As with the old standards, HazCom 2012 and WHMIS 2015 do not apply to consumer products.
What is the implementation timeline?
The US government compliance timeline is June 1, 2015 for US chemical manufacturers/importers and December 1, 2015 for distributors. That means distributors are allowed to ship products labeled with pre-GHS labels until December 1, 2015. Up until June 1, 2015 chemical manufacturers/importers can comply with either HazCom 2012 or the old HazCom 1994. After June 1, 2015 chemical manufacturers/importers must comply with HazCom 2012.
The Canadian government has announced a compliance timeline of June 1, 2017 for Canadian chemical manufacturers/importers and June 1, 2018 for distributors. Up until June 1, 2017 chemical manufacturers/importers can comply with either WHMIS 2015 or the old WHMIS 1988. After June 1, 2017 chemical manufacturers/importers must comply with WHMIS 2015.
What is the impact on Henkel?
Henkel, as a chemical manufacturer/importer, will be required to evaluate the hazards of every industrial product according to HazCom 2012 and WHMIS 2015 and prepare labels and SDSs in the new format to convey hazard information to downstream users. Henkel Corporation is committed to complying with the requirements of HazCom 2012 and WHMIS 2015 and will ensure compliance by the respective government deadlines.
As a customer, what changes can I expect to see?
The new Standards will lead to significant changes to all Henkel Adhesive Technologies (US and Canada) SDSs and industrial hazard warning labels. Henkel will phase in HazCom 2012 and WHMIS 2015 compliant SDSs and labels over a period of time. During this period you can expect to see both old and new format SDSs and labels. As with the old standards, HazCom 2012 and WHMIS 2015 do not apply to consumer products. Therefore, consumer labels will remain unchanged.
As part of the GHS implementation, Henkel has decided to discontinue the use of Hazardous Materials Information System (HMIS) ratings on our SDSs and labels. You can read more about our decision in the attached HMIS document at the bottom of the page.
Where can I get more information about Henkel’s GHS implementation?
This page will serve as our primary source of providing GHS related information to our North American customers. We will update the page as new information regarding our GHS implementation process becomes available. At the bottom of the page you will find important GHS related documents available to download.
If you have further questions, please contact your sales or customer service representative, or submit your inquiry online via the “contact us” button below.
Information regarding Henkel’s implementation of GHS in other regions, including a video summary, is available on Henkel’s global website.
GHS Implementation Resources
|Video Overview of Global Impact|
Poster – Henkel HazCom 2012 Implementation
View or Download Poster
Whitepaper – Decision to Discontinue the use of
HMIS Ratings on Henkel NA Safety Data Sheets and Labels
View or Download Whitepaper
Customer Notification & Timeline – Henkel
HazCom 2012 Implementation
View or Download Notification
Presentation – Henkel Implementation of the
Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS)
View or Download Presentation
Brochure – Henkel’s Implementation of U.S.