hazard communication – GHS 

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hazard communication program

If employees may be exposed to hazardous chemicals, a written Hazard Communication program must be implemented. The Hazard Communication program entails how hazard communication will be addressed at your worksite and procedures for labeling, maintaining safety data sheets, and providing employee information.

Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

The Hazard Communication Standard requires chemical manufacturers, distributors, or importers to provide Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) (formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets or MSDSs) to communicate the hazards of hazardous chemical
products. The HCS requires new SDSs to be in a uniform format. Please refer to the safety lesson, “Hazard Communication – Safety Data Sheets (SDS)” for more information.


The requirements for labeling of hazardous
chemicals under the Hazard Communication
Standard (HCS) requires the following elements:
• Signal word(s).
• Pictogram(s).
• Manufacturer information
• Precautionary statements/ first aid.
• Hazard Statement(s)
• The product identifier or name.

inventory list

A chemical inventory list should be kept and maintained. Employees should know where to find the inventory list, along with each chemical’s corresponding safety data sheet. Report to your supervisor for more information.

safe work practices

  • Be aware of all chemical hazards in your work area.
    • Always know where to access hazard communication material.
    • DO NOT handle chemicals until the SDS has been reviewed and the employee is properly trained.
    • Make sure there is an SDS for every chemical substance.
    • Comply with SDS safe use, handling, and storage requirements.
    • Inform supervisor if there is no SDS for a chemical substance or if the SDS is not up-to-date.
    • DO NOT handle chemicals or containers if there is no label.
    • DO NOT handle containers if you do not understand how to read labels.
    • Make sure every chemical substance container is labeled.
    • Make sure labels are up to date and are presented in the GHS format, which includes
    • Signal word(s).
    •  Pictogram(s).
    • Manufacturer information
    • Precautionary statements/ first aid.
    • Hazard Statement(s)
    • The product identifier or name.
  • Abide by label statements and use the appropriate precautionary actions, such as the use of
  • Do not remove, alter, or deface labels.
  • Inform supervisor if there is no label for a chemical substance or if the label is defective.


Effective Hazard Communication promotes the safe use and handling of chemical substances in the workplace. It is vital that employees are active participates in company hazard communication procedures and use safe work practices to assure a safe work environment.