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Human Resources Department

Occupational Safety & Health Unit

Hazard Communication/GHS Program

Chem Icons

In order to ensure chemical safety in the workplace, information about the identities and hazards of the chemicals must be available and understandable to workers. OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires the development and dissemination of such information throughout an organization's workforce

  • Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import, and prepare labels and SDS to convey the hazard information to their downstream customers
  • All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must have labels and SDS for their exposed workers, and train them to handle the chemicals appropriately, as well as, properly protect themselves with appropriate personal protective equipment.

In 2003, the United Nations (UN) adopted the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) and revised the program in 2007. The GHS includes criteria for the classification of health, physical and environmental hazards, as well as specifying what information should be included on labels of hazardous chemicals as well as Safety Data Sheets.  

To get more information on the applicability of this program for a specific County operation please contact the corresponding departmental Safety Coordinator

For further information on specific regulatory guidelines please refer to the link(s) below.

Cal-OSHA Model HAZCOM Program (PDF: 630 kB)

Cal-OSHA GHS Fact Sheet (PDF: 212 kB)

Hazard Communication Program Guidelines

United Nations GHS Program Website