As with all new laws and regulations, whenever GHS is adopted by a country where you ship your products, you need to get ready for the MSDS for GHS or the “SDS” as it is referred to under GHS. Here are a few basic ways to prepare yourself and your company.
As with every new regulatory development, it is worthwhile to perform a quick assessment whether you have the in-house knowledge to understand GHS and the MSDS for GHS. You should determine if you require any assistance from a vendor to acquire theoretical knowledge on GHS.
After you made the assessment, familiarize and train yourself and your employees on the basics of the MSDS for GHS, such as the new pictograms, GHS hazards and their corresponding categories, the Hazard and Precautionary statements, and the new format of the MSDS for GHS, including sections and section titles.
Now that you and your company know more about the MSDS for GHS, it is time to revise and update the classifications of your products. It is important to use the country-specific implementation of GHS, and not the generic purple book GHS, because there may be some minor differences between the two, since a country may choose not to adopt certain less severe hazard categories. Also, carefully study the transition periods in effect, to get an idea of the timeframe to be compliant with GHS.
Once your products are classified for GHS, you can re-create your MSDSs to be in line with GHS, either through software or services. Don’t forget as well to create the GHS labels for your products, using the information included on the MSDS for GHS.
Finally, since the MSDS is used to communicate information on your products to your customers, and since the MSDS for GHS is different than the current MSDS, be prepared to educate some of your customers on the new GHS statements, classifications and pictograms.