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Human Resources Department

Occupational Safety & Health Unit

Hazardous Chemical Labeling and Identification

Photo of all Nine Global Harmonization System Symbols

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) is a part of OSHA’s Hazard Communication program and is based on an international directive that standardizes the way information on chemical characteristics and hazards is provided to businesses and their employees who use hazardous chemicals.

It directs the content and format of chemical and compound Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and container labeling requirements and applies to all chemical suppliers, manufacturers and importers in the United States.

It uses a combination of pictures, standard statements and a signal word to inform users of the nature of the chemical and any safe handling protections required. Employees not only have a right to know what chemicals they are using, but also to understand what they are and any hazard they may pose.

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.

Chemical Safety & Safety Data Sheets

Cal-OSHA Hazard Communication Program

Cal-OSHA GHS Fact Sheet