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Globally Harmonized Systems – A Brave New OSHA HazComm

Jeffrey R. Sotek, PE, CSP, CIH

Course Outline

In this three (3) hour course students will learn about Globally Harmonized Systems and the proposed changes to OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard. In 2009 OSHA proposed a rule that would adopt UN Revision 3 of the Globally Harmonized System.   This rule is anticipated to be promulgated in 2012.   The information is provided in a Microsoft Powerpoint presentation handout and OSHA documents and will help further understand how to rely chemical hazards to others.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for safety engineers, environmental engineers and EHS professionals.

Benefit to Attendees

This course will help attendees assist any individual who uses hazardous chemicals in their workplace with the knowledge to better communicate chemical hazards in accordance with OSHA’s new hazard criteria as well as labeling and safety data sheet requirements.

Course Introduction

We lived in a different world then when OSHA promulgated the original chemical Hazard Communication standard.  International trade is commonplace.  No one country has the ability and resources to identify and specifically regulate every hazardous chemical product.  OSHA reports that in the United States alone, there are an estimated 650,000 such products.  In 2009 OSHA proposed a rule that would adopt UN Revision 3 of the Globally Harmonized System.  This rule is anticipated to be promulgated in 2012.   GHS is a system for standardizing and harmonizing the classification and labeling of chemicals. It is a logical and comprehensive approach to: 1) defining health, physical and environmental hazards of chemicals; 2) creating classification processes that use available data on chemicals for comparison with the defined hazard criteria; and 3) communicating hazard information, as well as protective measures on labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS).  Licensed professional engineers and EHS professionals must be aware of the new Globally Harmonized System requirements and how they will change OSHA’s current Hazard Communication Standard to assist themselves, their employers or clientele who use hazardous chemical in the workplace. 

Course Content

This course content with provide the attendee with opportunity to learn about OSHA’s proposed changes to existing Hazard Communication Standard and specifically about OSHA’s new hazard criteria as well as labeling and safety data sheet requirements.

In this lesson, you will be directed to:

Microsoft PowerPoint presentation handout, titled Globally Harmonized System, A Brave New Haz Comm (48 pages, pdf file format)

This technical document is in the public domain and may be downloaded or printed free of charge.

Proposed HCS regulatory text [63 KB PDF*, 30 pages]

Proposed Appendix A: Health Hazard Criteria (Mandatory) [347 KB PDF*, 68 pages]

Proposed Appendix B: Physical Hazard Criteria (Mandatory) [130 KB PDF*, 28 pages]

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Course Summary

In 2009 OSHA proposed a rule that would adopt UN Revision 3 of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) and thus, revise its existing Hazard Communication Standard.  This adoption is anticipated to go a long way with the international community to securing a common and coherent approach to defining and classifying hazards, as well as better communicating information on labels and safety data sheets.  Through this online course, licensed professionals and EHS professionals can learn how to assist employers and clientele with complying with OSHA’s proposed changes to the existing Hazard Communication Standard, as well as communicating hazard information and protective measures on labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS). 

Related Links

For additional information related to this subject, please visit the following websites or web pages:



Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.