Category Archives: Chemicals & hazardous materials

Globally Harmonized System

Globally harmonized system of chemicals

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), was developed by the United Nations to standardize the classification and labelling of chemicals. The intent is to create a unified system to reduce barriers to trade, simplify the regulatory burdens for chemical manufacturers and importers, and ensure workers can easily understand the chemical hazards present in the workplace to improve chemical safety. Each country may choose to implement the GHS. The United States has implemented the GHS through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and its Hazard Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200.

Why is it important to comply with the GHS system?

The GHS is a unified system of classifying and labelling chemicals. Chemical manufacturers and importers must ensure that they provide downstream users of their chemicals with information regarding the chemical hazards. Manufacturers and importers must first classify the chemicals by identifying the risks and hazards the chemicals pose. After classifying a chemical, the manufacturer or importer must provide safety data sheets (SDS) and chemical labels which provide users with valuable safety information.

Importance of implementing an active regulatory watch on Chemical and Hazardous products

The GHS is not binding and must be implemented in each country before the GHS system becomes a part of a country’s chemical regulations. Countries may implement the GHS with slight differences. Currently, the United States and Canada have entered into an agreement to harmonize their respective GHS regulations to simplify cross-border trade in chemicals. The goal is to create a unified label and SDS format and hazard classification system so that companies producing or importing chemicals may comply with one set of unified chemical regulations. While the two countries have similar requirements, the harmonization efforts may require additional changes that will affect companies providing chemicals to the United States and Canada.

Learn more about Chemical and hazardous products

Hazardous Material Management
Learn More About Chemicals And Hazardous Materials Compliance
Chemicals & Hazardous products certifications
Employer’s Guide OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard
Permissible Exposure Limits

What is a chemical manufacturer ?

A chemical manufacturer produces chemicals for use or distribution.

What is a chemical importer ?

A chemical importer is the first business to receive a hazardous chemical produced in another country with the intention of selling or distributing the chemical.

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Chemicals & Hazardous Products Compliance

Learn more about Chemicals & hazardous products compliance

Facilities that manufacture, use, or manage chemicals or hazardous materials must responsibly address the hazards posed by the chemicals or hazardous materials on site. Depending on the specific industrial activities occurring on site and the quantities and types of chemicals and hazardous materials present, facilities may have numerous federal environmental, health and safety requirements to comply with.


Users of large quantities of chemicals and hazardous materials have a duty to inform their communities and local emergency responders of the dangers present on site by submitting a Tier II report notifying the local emergency authorities of the presence and location of large quantities of chemicals and hazardous materials under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). Tier II reports are required when the chemical quantities on site exceed Tier II reporting thresholds. The EPCRA also requires facilities to annually report their Toxic Release Inventories on Form R when the chemicals on site exceed specific thresholds.

Risk Assessment

Facilities need to evaluate the chemical hazards and risks that they pose to workers and nearby communities. Highly hazardous chemicals pose a special threat and must be properly managed. OSHA’s Process Safety Management standard requires facilities to conduct a Process Hazard Analysis to manage the risks of using highly hazardous chemicals.


Facilities generating hazardous waste are required to minimize the threat that the hazardous waste poses to the environment, by properly handling, storing, and transferring the hazardous waste. Facilities generating larger quantities of hazardous waste are subject to stricter Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requirements.


Facilities manufacturing chemicals must inform their users of the dangers associated with their chemicals. OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard, based on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, requires manufacturers and importers of chemicals to classify the chemical hazards and create information safety data sheets and chemical labels. The information must then be passed down to end-users of the chemicals to ensure that workers can protect themselves from any chemical hazards.

In addition to providing safety information, manufacturers must also any use-restrictions required by EPA and the Toxic Substances and Control Act (TSCA). New chemicals must be approved for production and use by EPA prior to manufacture. When manufacturing large quantities of chemicals, manufacturers are required to provide EPA with a Chemical Data Report.


Sites that have been contaminated or are likely to release chemicals that will contaminate the facility must be cleaned up pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund. The federal government has broad powers to remediate sites and require any Potentially Responsible Parties to contribute to the cleanup costs.

Workplace Safety

Employers using chemicals and hazardous materials in the workplace are subject to numerous OSHA requirements to protect workers from chemicals. Workers are limited in the chemical exposures permitted each work shift and must be able to identify and address any chemical hazards present in the workplace, through the use of , chemical labelings, signs, safety data sheets and training.

Employees engaged in hazardous waste operations, such as cleanup work, hazardous waste facility operations, or emergency responders must be properly trained to protect themselves from the elevated risks. Facilities must also develop plans and controls to address the risks present on site.

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Hazardous Material Management
Chemical Classification
Chemical Labeling System
Transportation of Hazardous Materials

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Chemical & Hazardous Materials Legal Watch

Chemical & hazardous materials legal watch

Effective hazardous materials management requires regulated facilities to track updates to
hazardous material regulations. Hazardous materials regulations continue to change to address new environmental and health & safety risks.

Regulatory changes may include updated hazardous material classification, new reporting or recordkeeping requirements, modified inspections requirements, or updates
to the definition of “what are hazardous materials ?

Regulatory Legal Watch

Red-on-line offers a tailored regulatory monitoring and that tracks changes to EHS regulations applicable to your facility. Each client has a project leader who understands your specific operations and regulatory impact. Using this information, Red-on-line provides regulatory watch so that you know exactly what changes are in the Environment, Health and Safety regulatory pipeline.

Red-on-line has local experts throughout the global to help tailor our regulatory monitoring
services to your needs. We monitor hundreds of regulatory sources so that you have access to changes at the local, state, federal, and international level. The legal watch provides in-depth analysis of the regulatory information with full access to a team of global EHS experts for all of your regulatory needs.

Learn more about recent regulatory updates

To find out more on Red-on-line’s EHS legal watch solutions and expertise, check out the HSE-Vigilance page.

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Providing Hazardous Materials Information System

Hazardous Material Management System

Effective hazardous materials management requires the tracking of chemicals and hazardous products used on-site as well as tracking the hazardous waste streams generated.

Managing Chemicals & Hazardous Materials

Regulators set requirements for facilities based on the amount of chemicals used and the quantity of hazardous waste generated. It is best practice for regulated facilities to maintain a detailed hazardous chemical inventory management and waste tracking system to understand the quantity of chemicals on-site and the amount of waste generated.

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) requires users of large quantities of hazardous chemicals to inform their communities and local emergency responders of the dangers present on-site. Generally, if the facility is required to maintain a Safety Data Sheet for the chemical, it is regulated under the EPCRA reporting requirements. Therefore, facilities must know the quantity of chemicals on-site, whether they are regulated, and what the reportable threshold is for each chemical.

Managing Hazardous Waste

Spent chemicals often become hazardous waste, which are regulated based on the quantity generated during a calendar month. To learn more about managing your hazardous waste, see (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)).