To develop procedures that protect people and the environment, and to ensure the sound management of chemicals, the GHS (Globally Harmonized System) will be implemented soon worldwide. Current WHMIS and OSHA systems will be impacted by new classes of hazardous products and new labelling standards which will include the use of nine new pictograms.

All hazardous or "controlled" products in the workplace must be properly labelled. Suppliers and employers each have specific duties and responsibilities to ensure that information on hazardous materials is clearly and consistently provided to anyone who may come into contact with the hazard. With new pictograms to identify the nature of each individual hazard associated with a product, the GHS will help to clarify information and communication systems for everyone affected by hazardous products.

All container labels require a pictogram depicting one or more health or safety hazards that apply to a particular product.  Pictograms found on labels are also found on Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for that product. This page gives a brief description of each of the 9 pictograms and the hazards they represent under the GHS.

This pictogram is associated with flammable liquids, solids and aerosols. Flammable liquids have a flash point of not more than 93 degrees Celsius. Flammable solids are readily combustible or may contribute to or cause a fire through friction. Flammable aerosols are gases - compressed, liquefied, or dissolved under pressure and packaged within a non-refillable container made of metal, glass or plastic.

 

This symbol classifies products referred to as oxidizers. While similar in appearance to the flame pictogram, oxidizers are materials that create or contribute more oxygen to the combustion process, making other materials burn much more rapidly than they normally would. Care must be taken when storing these near flammable or combustible materials.

 

 

This image appears on items that are explosive. It may also be found on labels for self-reactive and organic peroxides. An exploding substance or mixture may be a solid or liquid, which is in itself capable by chemical reaction of producing gas at such temperatures, pressures and speed that its force can cause damage or injury. Pyrotechnic substances also display this icon, and are designed to produce an explosive effect through heat, light, sound, gas or smoke.

 

 

This pictogram appears on a compressed gas cylinder. Care must be taken, since under the right conditions, a broken valve or regulator can cause the cylinder to become a projectile. In some cases, gases are liquefied so they may be placed into a cylinder. Some of these gases rapidly expand and cool when released from the cylinder.

 

 

This pictogram appears on substances or mixtures which are corrosive. Spilling corrosive items on your skin or in your eyes could cause severe chemical burns and/or blindness. Such products may also be corrosive to metals. This means they may also be corrosive to containers or articles made from metal, causing them to break or leak. Careful storage consideration must be given for chemicals of this class. 

 

 

The skull and cross bones pictogram identifies products that represent an acute toxicity hazard, commonly referred to as 'poison', meaning that the toxic effects of over-exposure to these chemicals could prove fatal in the right doses. ‘Acute’ means the effects happen relatively quickly as opposed to over a long period time.

 

 

 

This is the health hazard pictogram. It identifies toxic chemicals and products that cause health problems over a long period of time, such as carcinogens, reproductive toxins, respiratory sensitizers, skin sensitizers, target organ, and aspiration toxicity hazards. 

 

 

These products are considered irritants to your skin, eyes or respiratory tract. Some chemicals classified as irritants could have an acute toxic effect on your health, though less severe than those depicted by the skull and crossbones. Chemicals causing a narcotic effect to your central nervous system are also classified under the exclamation mark pictogram along with those items which may be harmful to the ozone layer.

 

 

This pictogram is found on labels of products and chemicals considered an environmental hazard - toxic to plants and aquatic animals, both acute and chronic.  Some agencies may enforce the use of this pictogram on container labels, OSHA specifically does not consider it mandatory to display or enforce as again it does not directly affect the health and safety of workers.

 

 

*More detailed information on these symbols and their associated hazards is available through online safety awareness training at safetysync.com.


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If you are a premium client and have a worker who took a training course with SafetySync at a previous job, it's easy for us to transfer their training compliance to your company's safety portal. Instead of re-training employees who are already compliant, you can update their training and orientation history from all SafetySync courses just by sending us a request. We'll do the rest by clearing it with the last employer and if they approve the transfer, we will copy the compliance to your safety portal. No private data from any company will be shared, just the information you need.

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After you've picked the right content for your course, you're then able to build a quiz to suit the material. By simply choosing and checking off the questions you need from the course list, you create your own testing standard. Choice affords the best use of your time; you include only the information that matters in your workplace. And if you can't find the training system you need, we're glad to help in any way possible. Custom courses and testing make SafetySync the best training choice for specialized industry and growing business.


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