Control of Substances Hazardous to Health - COSHH Level 2 (VTQ)

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GHS Regulations

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3 min 20 sec
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GHS Regulations: Globally Harmonised System Overview

Introduction to GHS Regulations

The GHS regulations, an abbreviation of the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, represent an international agreement rather than a law.

Challenges of Chemical Classification

Different countries have varied laws for classifying hazardous properties of chemicals, leading to discrepancies in hazard descriptions and impeding international trade.

Development and Purpose of GHS

The GHS was developed by the United Nations in response to the need for a unified system to classify and communicate chemical hazards globally.

Key Features of GHS

  • Worldwide Classification: GHS provides consistent criteria for classifying chemicals based on health, environmental, and physical hazards.
  • Hazard Communication: GHS standardizes requirements for labelling and safety data sheets.
  • Non-legally Binding Agreement: GHS is not a formal treaty but requires countries to adopt local legislation for implementation.

Objectives of GHS Implementation

The implementation of GHS aims to:

  • Enhance Health and Environmental Protection: By ensuring comprehensive hazard communication worldwide.
  • Provide Framework for Countries: Particularly beneficial for nations lacking a classification system.
  • Streamline Chemical Trade: By reducing the need for extensive testing and facilitating international trade.

Future of GHS

The UN continues to refine GHS, with expectations of simplifying mixture classification, reducing costs, improving accuracy, and increasing flexibility for classifiers.