GHS stands for ‘Globally Harmonized System’ and refers to the use of hazard warning labels. At PAT Labels Online, we offer every GHS regulation warning diamond you could need, available for delivery directly to your door. Today we are going to focus on the requirements for these products, so your company can be confident that they comply with the OSHA HazCom 2012 Standard (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Read on to find out what its communication standard is, the six elements of the label that is required and the use of such labels for primary and secondary containers.

What is the GHS and OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard?

The idea behind GHS labelling is a system that is understood all over the world, irrespective of language barriers. It is used to classify and label chemicals. The regulation that these labels must comply with is known as the OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.1200(e) regulation for Hazard Communication. The labels should be used to organise inventory in an up-to-date manner, continually tracking, maintaining and managing it to ensure you meet your HazCom plan and GHS compliance.

The Six Elements of GHS Labels

The first element required for GHS labels is the use of a signal word, which informs us of the hazard level, with ‘warning’ being less severe than ‘danger’. The main element that makes these labels so universal is the use of pictograms. These are usually grouped by chemical or physical risk, health risk and environmental risk. The third element to comply with GHS regulations is the manufacturer information, including details of the company name, address and contact number. Next, a precautionary statement is given for each hazard statement, outlining how to take preventative measures, as well as response, storage or disposal precautions. These can be identified by a P-Code, whilst hazard statements are identified by an H-Code, both of which can be found on the chemical’s Safety Data Sheet (SDS). Finally, the sixth element is the product name or chemical name, with further identifiers notes to the right of the manufacturer’s information. 

Primary and Secondary Containers

Primary containers refer to large chemical containers such as bags, barrels, bottles, boxes, cans, cylinders and drums. It is important that these labels not only contain all six elements described but it should not be removed, altered or defaced. Any replacement should contain the exact information of the original. On the other hand, secondary containers are smaller than primary containers, usually holding chemicals transferred from a primary container. These may be spray bottles, jugs, or jars. They should consist of the same label requirements, except if the material is used within the shift of the person making the transfer, the individual who made the transfer is in the work area the whole time of use, and the container stays in the area and in the possession of the person who filled the container. 


For more information about GHS hazard warning labels, or any other products, please complete our contact form, or email us at You can also call us on 01325 525 675, and a member of our team will be glad to help you with any questions you may have for us.

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