Global Harmonization

The cover of the UNECE "Purple Book"
The UNECE “Purple Book”

The new HCS 2012 is now aligned with the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) that provides many benefits, including:

  • Providing a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets;
  • Improving the quality and consistency of hazard information in the workplace;
  • Helping reduce trade barriers;
  • Productivity improvements for American businesses that regularly handle, store, and use classified hazardous chemicals;
  • Providing cost savings for American businesses that periodically update safety data sheets and labels for classified chemicals.

Historical note: The old HCS 1994 gave workers the right to know, but the new HCS 2012 gives workers the right to understand: this is a very important change in OSHA’s approach.