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Chemical Classification and Labelling System in Malaysia: Before and After GHS

DOI https://doi.org/10.21552/icrl/2019/1/4

Azreen Shazwani Omar, Goh Choo Ta, Mohd Norhisyam Omar, Noor Hafizie Sulkafle, Mohd Hafizullah Harun


In Malaysia, the Occupational Safety and Health (Classification, Packaging and Labelling of Hazardous Chemicals) Regulations 1997 (CPL Regulations) were replaced by the Occupational Safety and Health (Classification, Labelling and Safety Data Sheet of Hazardous Chemicals) Regulations 2013 (CLASS Regulations) as a step towards the implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Chemical Classification and Hazard Communication (GHS). This paper highlights 10 significant differences between the two regulations in these aspects: (i) the legal status of reference documents; (ii) clarity of chemical classification; (iii) incorporation of environmental hazards; (iv) classification criteria; (v) their labelling presentation; (vi) use of danger symbols and hazard pictograms; (vii) sizes of danger symbols and hazard pictograms; (viii) hazard descriptions; (ix) safety data sheet; and (x) inventory submission. Although both CPL Regulations and CLASS Regulations have similar frameworks, the legal requirements outlined in both regulations differ significantly particularly in chemical classification, labelling and safety data sheet requirements, and inventory submission. The most important step forward is that the CLASS Regulations’ requirement for chemicals to be classified with proper documented evidence and comprehensive hazard communication makes the chemical suppliers take greater responsibility for the chemicals they supply.

Azreen Shazwani Omar, Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) & Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR), Malaysia. Goh Choo Ta, Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). Mohd Norhisyam Omar, Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) & Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR), Malaysia. Noor Hafizie Sulkafle, Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) & Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR), Malaysia. Mohd Hafizullah Harun, Department of Public Health, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) & Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR), Malaysia. The authors would like to acknowledge partial support from the research grants XX-2016-003 and GUP-2015-029. For correspondence: <mailto:gohchoota@ukm.edu.my>

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