MSDS Authoring for GHS Compliance: September Deadline Approaches

OSHA is preparing to publish a final rule aligning the Hazard Communication Standard with GHS. Once adopted, chemical manufacturers, importers and distributors will need to reclassify their hazardous chemicals to conform to GHS definitions.

Additionally, they will have to produce new MSDSs and labels to reflect the reclassification and conform to the GHS compliant safety data sheet format. Earlier this month, OSHA announced its plans to publish the final rule in September.

The Global Harmonization System (GHS) is a world-wide standardized approach to chemical hazard communication. Supported by the United Nations and regulatory agencies around the globe, including OSHA, GHS can be summarized into three main components:

  • Standardized hazard definitions and symbols
  • Standardized MSDS format and content
  • Standardized hazard warnings and symbols on container labels

Countries that adopt GHS usually create new compliance obligations for their organizations or businesses that manufacture, import, store or distribute chemical products. This would hold true for the United States when alignment happens.

Under GHS, safety data sheets are called SDSs and have a strict ordering of its 16 sections. So even if there are little to no changes in the classification of said chemicals, a new SDS will almost certainly be necessary. With OSHA’s adoption of GHS on the horizon (the agency has said it expects to publish a final rule in September) the rush is on for many companies to begin authoring GHS compliant SDSs.

According to OSHA Hazard Communication requirements (29 CFR– 1910.1200), you are required to review all known physical and health hazards of the chemicals you produce or import to determine if they are hazardous. Your organization is required to have a process for collecting and assessing this information, and in turn generating safety data sheets for these chemical products. Once written, the safety data sheets must be made available to every downstream user, including your employees, distributors and customers.


MSDSonline Authoring Professionals Can Help

Our trained, certified professionals can assist with all of your MSDS Authoring needs. They can author original MSDSs, update existing MSDSs, translate new or existing MSDSs, and even review your existing inventory of MSDSs to ensure all documents are in compliance with current regional regulations. All safety data sheets go through a critical review and quality assurance process to ensure complete accuracy. We employ the most experienced regulatory chemical experts and utilize robust authoring technology so you’re assured that your MSDSs comply with all local, national and international regulations, including GHS, 16-section ANSI, OSHA, WHMIS, EU, NAFTA and other global formats.

Thus, if you are a chemical manufacturer, MSDSonline is positioned with skilled authoring professionals on staff to help your organization smoothly transition to GHS without putting unnecessary strain on your resources. This allows you to focus on day-to-day operations, as well as the important task of training your employees to ensure they are equipped to handle chemical hazards they are likely to see in their work areas.


Get Peace of Mind

Our value is simple — with our solid investment in certified professionals, infrastructure and an unwavering focus on service, MSDSonline provides you with both peace of mind and the opportunity to focus on your core business. Leave the complicated process of MSDS authoring and GHS compliance to the experts.

  • Expert Authoring Professionals — MSDSs are created and reviewed by trained, certified experts in the EH&S industry. Your MSDSs are completed quickly, but only after each goes through a stringent review process to ensure 100% accuracy and compliance.


  • Improve Regulatory Compliance — In addition to authoring original MSDSs, our authoring experts can perform a critical review of any or all of your MSDSs to ensure compliance with local, national and global requirements, including ANSI, OSHA, WHMIS, EU, NAFTA and others.


  • Focus on Your Core Business — Allow our experts to author, update or translate your new or existing MSDSs, or perform a compliance review of your existing MSDSs, so you are better able to focus on your day-to-day operations.
  • Improve GHS Compliance — Our trained, certified authoring professionals are fully educated on GHS compliance and can help transition your MSDSs to the new GHS format without straining your resources.

Call 1.888.362.2007, or visit to learn more.