Hazard banding in compliance with the new Globally Harmonised System (GHS) for use in control banding tools

Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2015 Oct;73(1):287-95. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2015.07.014. Epub 2015 Jul 21.


Many control banding tools use hazard banding in risk assessments for the occupational handling of hazardous substances. The outcome of these assessments can be combined with advice for the required risk management measures (RMMs). The Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) has resulted in a change in the hazard communication elements, i.e. Hazard (H) statements instead of Risk-phrases. Hazard banding schemes that depend on the old form of safety information have to be adapted to the new rules. The purpose of this publication is to outline the rationales for the assignment of hazard bands to H statements under the GHS. Based on this, this publication proposes a hazard banding scheme that uses the information from the safety data sheets as the basis for assignment. The assignment of hazard bands tiered according to the severity of the underlying hazards supports the important principle of substitution. Additionally, the set of assignment rules permits an exposure-route-specific assignment of hazard bands, which is necessary for the proposed route-specific RMMs. Ideally, all control banding tools should apply the same assignment rules. This GHS-compliant hazard banding scheme can hopefully help to establish a unified hazard banding strategy in the various control banding tools.

Keywords: COSHH essentials; Control banding tools; Globally Harmonised System (GHS); H statements; Hazard banding; Hazardous substances; Principle of substitution; Risk assessment; Stoffenmanager(®).

MeSH terms

  • Hazardous Substances / adverse effects*
  • Hazardous Substances / classification*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Occupational Health
  • Product Labeling / methods
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Management / methods
  • Safety


  • Hazardous Substances