GHS implementation in the United States

OSHA, the US Occupational, Safety and Health Administration, has aligned its Hazard Communication Standards (HCS) with the UN Globally Harmonized System (GHS). This new situation means that:
  • Label elements (i.e., pictograms, hazard statements, precautionary statements, and signal words) are updated
  • Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are updated
  • Training to workers is provided
OSHA required employees to be trained on the new labels and SDS format by December 1, 2013, while full compliance with the final rule began in 2015.

The table below provides an overview of the main compliance steps involved:

Effective Completion Date  Requirement(s) Who 
June 1, 2015*
December 1, 2015
Compliance with all modified provisions of this final rule, except:
The Distributor shall not ship containers labeled by the chemical manufacturer or importer unless it is a GHS label
Chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers
June 1, 2016 Update alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program as necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards. Employers
Transition Period to the effective completion dates noted above May comply with either 29 CFR 1910.1200 (the final standard), or the current standard, or both Chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors, and employers

*This date coincides with the EU implementation date for classification of mixtures

For more information:

Page glossary

  • CFR
  • Classification
  • EU
  • GHS
  • Hazard
  • Labeling
  • OSHA
  • Safety
  • SDS
  • UN
  • WHO