If you were to go to a country and didn’t know the language, how would you find your way around? Pictograms have been used universally to make understanding easier for everyone. What does the following pictogram tell you?
Did you guess “coffee?” What about this one?
Did you guess “Restaurant?” Pictograms create a universal language and take us beyond the borders that used to inhibit our understanding.
Almost everyone knows this picture which indicates accessibility for wheelchairs.
And who could live without the universal sign for restroom? The same theory is being introduced in the Hazard Communication Standard with the Globally Harmonized System. The single most important force that drove the creation of the GHS was the international mandate adopted in the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), often called the "Earth Summit" which states:
"A globally harmonized hazard classification and compatible labeling system, including material safety data sheets and easily understandable symbols, should be available, if feasible, by the year 2000."
One of the most important benefits expected in the application of the GHS is to:
In the U.S., the EPA and OSHA would be expected to require hazard pictograms/symbols on labels.
In the workplace, it is expected that most of the GHS elements will be adopted, including;·
OSHA requires employers to be in compliance with the new GHS in 2013. This includes employee training. Whether choosing to provide company training or using the services of an outside source such as http://www.oshacampus.com/ the The Globally Harmonized System for Hazard Communication is anticipated to make understanding hazardous chemicals easier for everyone. Pictograms help us to create universal awareness and help protect people and the environment. Are you ready for the December 2013 deadline?
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