The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), created by the United Nations, provides guidelines for creating labels and safety data sheets that universally communicate information and warnings about hazardous materials Manufacturers, as well as importers, distributors, and users of chemical substances, are required to comply with the standards.
GHS labeling includes pictograms — one set for container labels and workplace safety warnings and another for use during transport of dangerous goods. They also include signal words such as “Danger” or “Warning,” and statements describing the nature of the hazard, whether they are to human health or the environment, and precautionary measures that handlers should take. There are additional requirements involving size, print media, and the use of color.
Information on US government’s implementation of the GHS standard can be found at the United States Department of Labor’s OSHA website.