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GHS BUILDING BLOCKS it is not as hard as it sounds in Safety

When you do your GHS training and someone brings up building blocks they make is sound complicated and hard, but in reality it is very easy to understand.

GHS is structured in building blocks that correspond to the different hazard classes and categories used to describe the nature of the hazards of hazardous substances/mixtures.

GHS hazard groupings and building block concept when you look at the photo it is that easy!

Within the GHS classification system, there are three major hazard groups:

  • Physical hazards
  • Health hazards
  • Environmental hazards

Within each of these hazard groups there are classes and categories. Each of these parts is called a building block. Each country can determine which building blocks of the GHS system it will use in their different sectors (workplace, transportation, consumers). Once the building blocks are chosen, the corresponding GHS rules for classification and labels must be used.

Health hazard group

Criteria for classifying chemicals have been developed for the following health hazard classes:

  • Acute toxicity
  • Skin corrosion/irritation
  • Serious eye damage/eye irritation
  • Respiratory or skin sensitization
  • Germ cell mutagenicity
  • Carcinogenicity
  • Reproductive toxicity
  • Specific target organ toxicity – single exposure
  • Specific target organ toxicity – repeated exposure
  • Aspiration hazard

In addition, there are specific classification rules for chemical mixtures for each health hazard class.

Physical hazard group

Criteria for classifying chemicals have been developed for the following physical hazard classes:

  • Explosives
  • Flammable gases
  • Aerosols
  • Oxidizing gases
  • Gases under pressure
  • Flammable liquids
  • Flammable solids
  • Self-reactive substances and mixtures
  • Pyrophoric liquids
  • Pyrophoric solids
  • Self-heating substances and mixtures
  • Substances and mixtures which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases
  • Oxidizing liquids
  • Oxidizing solids
  • Organic peroxides
  • Corrosive to metals

Environmental hazard group

Criteria for classifying chemicals have been developed for the following environmental hazard class:

  • Hazardous to the aquatic environment (acute and chronic)
  • Hazardous to the ozone layer

In addition, there are specific classification rules for chemical mixtures for each environmental hazard class.

Terry Penney

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