Hazardous Communication

The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is now aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). This update will provide a common and clear approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information:

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) will become Safety Data Sheets (SDS). They serve the same purpose as the MSDS. SDS will provide an easy to read format.

SDS Sections

  • Identification
  • Hazard(s)
  • Composition/information on ingredients
  • First-aid measures
  • Fire-fighting measures
  • Accidental release measures
  • Handling and storage
  • Exposure controls/personal protection
  • Physical and chemical properties
  • Stability and reactivity
  • Toxicological information
  • Ecological information
  • Disposal considerations
  • Transport information
  • Regulatory information
  • Other information

All chemical labels will be required to have pictograms, a signal word, hazard and precautionary statements, the product identifier and supplier identification.

Pictograms on labels are designed to alert users of the chemical hazards. Each pictogram consists of a symbol on a white background framed within a red border and represents a distinct hazard(s).

There are two signal words in the GHS system - Danger and Warning. These signal words are used to communicate the level of hazard on both the label and the SDS.

The product identifier can be (but is not limited to) the chemical name, code number or batch number.

The hazard and precautionary statements are used to describe the nature of the hazard(s) and recommended measures to minimize or prevent adverse effects resulting from exposure.

Presenter tips

  • Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.