GreenTag Certifiers Ready to Roll With New GHS Requirements

170130 GreenTag is GHS Ready

Major changes to OH&S requirements are here and GreenTag is ready for the legislative requirements that have been introduced in Australia with  respect to the new legislative requirement for classification and labelling of chemicals under the  Globally Harmonised System (GHS) originally developed by the United Nations.

The use of the GHS is now mandatory from  January 1st, 2017, having been announced in 2012 by the Safe Work Australia and introduced into Global GreenTag Standards commencing also in 2012 and has consequently played some small part in helping to establish the use of GHS in the market since – just  as it also has in the development and growth of LCA  (Life Cycle Assessment),   EPDs (Environmental Product Declarations) and a soon to be announced new declaration, currently under wraps.

In terms of chemical classification and labelling under the new look GHS, GreenTag is ready.

GreenTag  product assessment procedures are aligned to the new system, which  applies to all workplace hazardous chemicals in NSW, ACT, QLD, SA, TAS, NT and Commonwealth systems under the GHS and the Model Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations and their Hazardous Substances Information System.

GreenTag  product assessors, whose job is to rate products with careful consideration of any chemical risks in products under certification, gladly welcome  the new GHS system – for its clarity and opportunity to increase demands for transparency and greater product disclosure.

The new GHS system provides enhanced  criteria by which to classify hazards, including  risk of hazards pertaining to human health, such as carcinogenicity, risks to the  environment , such as toxic  release  to waterways and of course physical hazards – a pertinent category, especially in light of the urgent need in recent years in the Australian building industry that has seen a number of fire outbreaks, due in part to flammability in the  chemical components in sub-par and uncertified materials.

Under the GHS new system, all manufacturers, importers, suppliers and users of hazardous chemicals will be required to observe legislative requirements  to manage the risks associated with hazardous chemicals in the workplace.  This will include  ensuring the safe use, handling and storage of chemicals, as well as specific duties under the model Work Health and Safety Regulations.

Pictograms                                                                 

Under the GHS there are nine new Hazard Pictograms:

chemical-classifications (1)

Hazard Descriptions

In plain text contexts, the GHS uses the words ‘Danger’ and ‘Warning’ as signals to indicate the relative level of severity of a hazard. ‘Danger’ being used for more severe or significant hazards, with ‘Warning’ being used for less severe hazards.

Hazard and Precautionary Statements

Hazard Statements are assigned to a class and category that describes the nature of the hazards of a substance, including where appropriate, the degree of hazard, e.g. the hazard statement ’Toxic if swallowed’ is the Hazard Statement for Acute Toxicity category 3 (Oral).

Precautionary Statements describe the recommended measures that should be taken to minimise or prevent adverse effects resulting from exposure, or improper storage or handling of a hazardous chemical. The GHS precautionary statements cover prevention, response, storage and disposal.

Hazard and precautionary statements replace the ‘Risk’ and ‘Safety’ phrases required under previous laws.

For more information, see the classification and labelling for workplace hazardous chemicals poster

READ MORE IN FULL the article  in Sourceable by David Baggs, CEO of GreenTag  who expands on the new changes for Australia. https://sourceable.net/new-ohs-chemical-classification-system-launches-in-oz/