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Colombia Defines Steps for GHS Workplace Implementation

Classification, labeling and Safety Data Sheets should be in accordance with the sixth revised edition of the GHS.

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May 11, 2021

On April 7, 2021, the Ministry of Labor, through Resolution 0773 of 2021, defined the steps that employers must take for implementation of the Globally Harmonised System (GHS) in the workplace.

The resolution is applicable to public and private employers, dependent and independent workers, contractors, apprentices, trainees, and cooperative workers, who handle chemical products in the workplace, whether pure chemicals, dilute solutions or mixtures of these. They should guarantee that classification of chemical products is in accordance with the sixth edition of the GHS, as well as labels and Safety Data Sheet (SDS).

Labels should be in Spanish and in accordance with the specifications defined in revision 6 of the GHS. The precautionary statements will be chosen at the discretion of the person responsible for the labeling, paying particular attention to those for prevention, response, storage and disposal that are more relevant to minimize the adverse effects of the chemical product to the user. Additional advice can be provided in the SDS.

The label may contain the nominal quantity of the chemical in the container and the lot number, unless these values are already specified elsewhere on the container.

For nonhazardous chemicals, in accordance with the GHS classification criteria, the minimum information that should be displayed on the label is:

  • Product identifier
  • Supplier identification, whether it is manufacturer, importer or distributor
  • Precautionary statements

The size of the label will be that established by Regulation 1272 of 2008 of the European Union (CLP for classification, labeling and packaging of chemical substances and mixtures) and will be proportional to the size and shape of the container. Containers smaller than 30 milliliters will need to display at least the name of the product and the hazard pictograms.

Regarding Section 8 of the SDS, the occupational exposure limits will correspond to those defined by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) in force on the date of preparation or update of the SDS. In this same section, the type of recommended personal protection elements should be indicated, specifying characteristics such as glove material and type of filter, among other specifications.

Under Article 15, relabeling of imported chemical products is allowed within the importer's warehouse before being used or sold. The label must include at least the hazards reported on the original label and on the manufacturer's SDS.

Employers must review the information on which the labels and SDS for hazardous chemicals used in the workplace are based no later than every five years, even if no significant new information has been provided.

A transition period for this regulation to enter into force is as follows:

  • April 7, 2023, for pure chemical substances and diluted solutions
  • April 7, 2024, for mixtures

An article was previously posted in May 2020 that provided information on the draft of this resolution. Since the draft Resolution is similar to its finalized version, we’ve identified only the differences in this article, and that which did not change is not repeated in this article on Resolution 0773/2021. 

Recommended action items

  • If you are a manufacturer or importer of chemical products, be aware of the transition period for implementation of the GHS in the workplace regarding hazard classification, labeling and SDS preparation.
  • Review all product SDSs at least every five years.

Reference

Resolution 0773 of April 7, 2021 - Measures that employers must carry out for the implementation of the Global Harmonized System for the Classification and Labeling of Chemicals at the workplace 

GHS Sixth Revised Edition

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