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Chemical Safety

Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)

CHIP Regs - Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations are being replaced by the CLP Regs – Classification, Labelling and Packing Regulations. This new regulation also replaces the Dangerous Substances Directive (DSD) and the Dangerous Preparations Directive (DPD).

The changes have been introduced to protect workers around the world by introducing a common set of hazard criteria and labelling elements to be used for chemicals.

In practical terms, users will need to know about terminology changes and new pictograms, which will be displayed on chemical substances and mixtures.

The changes are being phased in during 2015, when all chemical substances and mixtures must comply. Until the transition is complete you may see either requirement being used.

Main changes

The main changes relate to labelling of chemicals and mixtures and safety data sheets which accompany these. Information about these changes can be found in sections A and B to follow.

CLP has not changed the purpose of the label, but the meaning of several of the symbols and terms used has changed.

  1. New red-framed pictograms will replace the familiar orange danger symbols
  2. Some of the terminology has been updated
  3. Signal words will replace the danger indication
  4. Hazard statements will replace the previous Risk Phrases
  5. Precautionary statements will replace the previous Safety Phrases
  6. Some additional Hazard Statements will appear in a Supplementary Labelling Section
  7. Specific criteria applies to transport labelling

The 7 familiar orange squares will be replaced by 9 red-framed diamond symbols.

DSD-DPD-symbols image

The three new symbols have the following meanings:

Type of hazard

DSD/DPD Symbol

CLP Pictogram

The substance or mixture

may cause serious long-term

health effects, such as

carcinogenicity or respiratory


Less serious health hazards

such as irritants, skin sensitisers and less severe toxicity (harmful)

Contains gases under


No symbol under DSD and


Term used in DSD & DPD

Term used in CLP







Risk Phrases

Hazard Statements

Safety Phrases

Precautionary Statements

CLP uses a signal word to highlight the danger level. The new signal words have two levels.

Danger – those substances and mixtures with the most severe hazards

Warning – those substances and mixtures with less serious hazards

A hazard statement is a phrase that describes the nature of the hazard in the substance or mixture. A hazard statement will be determined by the application of the classification criteria.

Examples of hazard statements include:

  • Causes serious eye damage
  • Toxic if swallowed
  • Toxic to the aquatic life with long lasting effects
  • May cause allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled
  • It replaces the ‘risk or R-phrase’ used in CHIP.

Hazard Statement Code Numbers

H200 – H299

Physical hazards

H300 – H399

Health hazards

H400 – H499

Environmental hazards

A precautionary statement is a phrase that describes recommended measure(s) to minimise or prevent adverse effects resulting from exposure to a hazardous substance or mixture due to its use or disposal.

Examples of precautionary statements include:

  • Wear eye protection
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke when using this product
  • Avoid release to the environment
  • In case of inadequate ventilation wear respiratory protection

Suppliers determine the appropriate precautionary statements (usually no more than six) based on the required hazard statements. It replaces the ‘safety or S-phrase’ used in CHIP.

Precautionary Statement Code Numbers

P1 00


P2 00


P3 00


P4 00


P5 00


This part of the label will contain any of the additional labelling phrases or information such as VOC content, etc.

This supplementary information does not have to be in a separate box on the label and hence may not be immediately obvious as supplementary information. It should, however, be close to the other mandatory label information.

Supplementary Hazard Statement Code Numbers


Supplementary Hazards


Supplementary Label Elements for certain mixtures

A list of all the Hazard, Precautionary and Supplementary Statements is available at:

Under CLP, when hazardous substances and mixtures are packaged in a single packaging, e.g. a drum or IBC, the supplier may decide to omit any CLP pictograms if they repeat the transport hazard class labels attached for the transport of dangerous goods. This means that you will need to check all the labels in a package, both supply and transport, the makes sure that you do not miss any information.


Example Label

The reference to the word material has been removed and they will now be known as “Safety Data Sheets” The requirement to provide a safety data sheet is set out in the REACH Regulations (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals).  Previously, under the CHIP Regs, suppliers of substances or mixtures meeting the criteria for classification as dangerous have been required to compile and supply a SDS at the first delivery of a substance or mixture.REACH took over this system and it has now been changed to take into account the new Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation.


Information that should be included on the safety data sheet:


1. Identification of the substance/mixture and of the company/undertaking;

2. Hazards identification;

3. Composition/information on ingredients;

4. First-aid measures;

5. Fire-fighting measures;

6. Accidental release measures;

7. Handling and storage;

8. Exposure controls/personal protection;

9. Physical and chemical properties;

10. Stability and reactivity;

11. Toxicological information;

12. Ecological information;

13. Disposal considerations;

14. Transport information;

15. Regulatory information;

16. Other information.


A SDS should be provided to the recipient free-of-charge, on paper or electronically. A system that merely requires customers to obtain a SDS from a company's website or from a catalogue of SDS is not considered appropriate. A SDS should be provided either before or at the time of first delivery of the substance or mixture. Where a customer re-orders substances or mixtures, then the supplier does not need to re-supply the SDS, unless the sheet’s contents have changed.


There is no statutory review period for revising a SDS; however, it needs to be updated:

  •  As soon as new hazard information or information that may affect the risk management measures becomes available; or
  • When a substance or mixture is classified according to the CLP Regulation (see also section on ‘how will the CLP Regulation affect SDS?’)
  • Once an authorisation under REACH is granted or refused; or
  • Once a restriction under REACH has been imposed.

When a SDS is updated, the new dated version of the SDS, identified as ‘Revision: date’, shall be supplied to all customers (of the substance/mixture in question) from the preceding 12 months.

Ensure you take account of the new Hazard and Precautionary Statements when you next revise your COSHH Assessment. You do not need to redo the assessment purely because of these changes. The template forms have been updated to show both the old and new information references. The forms can be found on the Safety Documents Page.

Replace any posters or signs on walls, fume cabinets or storage areas with information showing both the old signs and new pictograms. The transition period does not end until 1 June 2015, so you should show both sets of information until this time.

Ensure you get a copy of the most up to date Safety Data Sheet for each product as this will ensure you are aware of the Hazards and Precautions relevant to your use of the chemical or mixture.

Update any safe systems of work or procedures if the new Hazard and Precautionary Statements identify increased hazards or more stringent precautions. If the H&P statements are of an equivalent or lower standard, you don’t need to update your system of work until it is next due for review.