On March 26, 2012, OSHA finalized a change to the Hazard Communication Standard of 1983 by adopting the United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). This new standard, known as HCS 2012, or OSHA GHS, provides specific criteria to address health and physical hazards, as well as classification of chemical mixtures. These changes will go into effect on June 1, 2015.

HCS 2012 requires chemical manufacturers and importers to comprehensively re- evaluate potential physical and health hazards posed by the chemicals they manufacture or import. They do this by reviewing available scientific information and communicate the findings through product labels, Safety Data Sheets and employee training. OSHA determined that harmonization with the GHS would improve worker understanding of the hazardous chemicals they encounter, and has remarked that “the HCS in 1983 gave workers the right to know, but the GHS will give workers the right to understand.”

We at Flavor and Fragrance Specialties, Inc. have been working diligently preparing for this change. As a result, you will start to see new Safety Data Sheets and labels in the coming months.


Hazard classifications:

Hazard classification under the new, updated standard provides specific criteria to address health and physical hazards, classification of chemical mixtures, and includes a revised 16 section Safety Data Sheet.

  1. Identification
  2. Hazard(s)
  3. Composition/Information on Ingredients
  4. First-Aid Measures
  5. Fire-Fighting
  6. Accidental Release Measures
  7. Handling and Storage
  8. Exposure Controls / Personal Protection
  9. Physical and Chemical Properties
  10. Stability and Reactivity
  11. Toxicological Information
  12. Ecological Information
  13. Disposal Considerations
  14. Transportation
  15. Regulatory Information
  16. Other Information



Chemical manufacturers and importers must provide a label that includes a Signal Word (Hazard or Danger), pictogram(s), hazard statement(s), and precautionary statement(s) for each hazard class and category.


For more details on these changes and the required labeling, please visit OSHA Hazcom website