ICCA Shares Learnings on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) during Indian Chemical Council 3rd Sustainability Conclave
On December 3, 2021, the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) organized a session on GHS implementation during the Indian Chemical Council’s (ICC) 3rd Sustainability Conclave. The session served as a case study on GHS implementation in Singapore, and explored the implementation process, challenges that arose and ways in which industry and government maximized their collaborations to promote streamlined and effective uptake of the GHS principles.
The session was moderated by Ms. Raleigh Davis, Director for Global Affairs at the American Chemistry Council. Ms. Cissie Yeung, Singapore Chemical Industry Council member and former Industry Co-Chair of Singapore’s National Chemical Management and GHS Task Force, discussed the ways in which the GHS Singapore Task Force prioritized communication between interested stakeholders, the process used by the Task Force to develop tools and materials for capacity building, and the resources needed for Singapore to meet GHS-related goals. Ms. Evelyn Koh, Senior Assistant Director (Occupational Hygiene) with the Specialist Department in the Occupational Safety & Health Division, Ministry of Manpower (MOM) of Singapore, described how GHS fits into the broader chemicals regulation within Singapore, noted key agencies related to GHS within the Singaporean government as well as the means by which MOM enforces GHS among industry.
ICCA and ICC offered their support to the DCPC in regards to future endeavors related to the GHS, and, are working with DCPC to jointly identify opportunities for future information sharing about the global context and benefits of the GHS.
The GHS is an internationally agreed-upon standard managed by the United Nations that was created to harmonize criteria for classifying substances and mixtures according to their health, environmental and physical hazards. Core elements of the GHS include standardized hazard testing criteria, universal hazard pictograms, and harmonized requirements for labelling and safety data sheets. A properly implemented GHS is fundamental to any chemicals management scheme as it synchronizes hazard communication globally, improves workers’ and environmental protections and facilitates trade.
The GHS session was an extension of the highly successful and long-standing partnership between ICCA and ICC. Since 2011, ICCA and ICC have worked together to foster environment, health, safety, and chemical security (EHS&S) excellence in India by supporting implementation of the industry’s Responsible Care® program. Responsible Care is the chemical industry’s global EHS&S performance initiative currently being implemented by chemical companies in more than 65 economies across the globe.