The three main components of GHS are: hazard classification, chemical labelling, and safety data sheets. More specifically, the main goals of GHS are:
- Classification of chemical hazards according to GHS standards, including pure chemicals and chemical mixes.
- Communication and labelling of hazards through universal warning pictograms, signal words and statements, and standardised Safety Data Sheets (SDS).
All GHS standards are outlined in the main GHS document called the GHS Purple Book. The GHS Purple Book is the main pillar of GHS, containing all the relevant info rmation needed for successful implementation of GHS across the globe. The document is updated every two years.The latest, 7th revision of the GHS Purple Book was released in July 20 17, and features updates in several areas. Some significant alterations in the 7th revision include:
- New criteria for systemising flammable gasses, which are now clearer and stricter regarding the pyrophoric gases and the unstable gases
- Minor changes to definitions of health hazard classes, including skin corrosion and irritation, eye irritation, dermal irritation, serious eye damage, carcinogenicity, and more.
- Specific precautionary statements are rationalised in Annex 3. Other have been expanded – the statement P503 (advise to refer to manufacturer or supplier for info on disposal, recovery and recycling) has now been added for certain explosives.
- The coverage of Section 14 (Transport Information) of the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) has been extended to all bulk cargoes transported via the International Maritime Organization, for all physical states of the cargo.
- Labelling of small packaging with fold-out labels has been addressed and defined through an example in Annex 7 (pictured below). The fold-out labels allow for more information to be featured in limited space.
You can find the official list of amends to GHS Version 7 here.