THANK GOD they figured out how to make MSDS's less useful

In Canada, those multi-coloured diamonds (if that is what you mean by NFPA) are not an actual requirement. Many end-user companies affix those labels themselves as part of their site-specific safety programs. I have also seen labels which are rectangular, but appear to use the same colour-code/number system. They are near-Greek, to me.

I suppose everything is relative, and people like what they understand. Canada already mandates, through TDG (Transportation of Dangerous Goods, which has also undergone quite a few alterations in the past 2 decades) and WHMIS regulations, labels and pictograms very similar to these GHS ones linked earlier. It’s a good system, IMO.

I’m amazed that these symbols aren’t, you know, better.

The oOympics and traffic sign people seem to be able to put together simple, intuitive graphics, but these are overly busy and often non-intuitive. It’s like one of the developers was trying to help out his cousin or something rather than an international effort to save lives.


Actually, I don’t think there is much question that the manner in which the legal landscape has evolved in the last 30-odd years bears out the notion that these are and have always been international efforts to save asses from massive lawsuits.

GHS was just introduced this morning at my workplace. We had a meeting, complete with a little quiz, that rapidly degenerated into everyone talking over each other due to a lack of understanding of the material. One group insisted that the skull and crossbones represented both a physical and a health hazard; another group insisted that there was no difference between a physical hazard and a health hazard. And there was the usual grumbling about the government when the numbering changes from NFPA to GHS were introduced. We get to learn more about the new MSDS (now SDS?) format at the next meeting. Whee.

And don’t forget the coversheet. Got to have that.