OSHA & GHS Liquid Regulations

OSHA & GHS Liquid Regulations?

The US regulatory authorities define Flammable and Combustible Liquids in a many different ways. The general modification to the Flammable Liquid Standard is how flammables are classified as hazardous materials. Read the article below to learn about how OSHA & GHS Liquid Regulations.


Under OSHA’s old standards, hazmat liquids were defined as flammable or combustible. These liquids were segregated into three classes 1A, 1B, or 1C, with 1A being the most dangerous.

Post GHS

After OSHA’s adoption of the new GHS regulations the classes 1, 2 and 3 no longer exist. Flammable liquids are now segregated into four different categories.

  • Category 1 – liquids that have flash points below 73.4°F (23°C) – a boiling point at or below 95°F (35°C) (IA). Transport Class / Packing Group: 3,I
  • Category 2 – liquids that have flash points below 73.4°F (23°C) – a boiling point above 95°F (35°C) (IB). Transport Class / Packing Group: 3,II
  • Category 3 – liquids that have flash points at or above 73.4°F (23°C) – at or below 140°F (60°C) (IC and II). Transport Class / Packing Group: 3, III
  • Category 4 – liquids that have flash points above 140°F (60°C) – at or below 199.4°F (93°C) (III). Transport Class / Packing Group: Combustible Liquid, PG III

Major Changes to the Standards

  • Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram and a hazard statement for each hazard category and class. Other precautionary statements must be included.
  • Safety Data Sheets: Now have a specified 16-section format.
  • Hazard Classification: Illustrates specific criteria for classification of physical hazards and health, as well as classification of mixtures.

Classifications, Labeling and Data Sheets

  • Hazard Classification: is the information of what dangers or hazards a specific chemical substance can cause, including the chemical’s class and category. This hazard classification will be standardized across all chemical substances.
  • Hazard Labels: The new OSHA hazard communication standards require labels to contain a pictogram which shall illustrate the specific hazard that the chemical is associated with, verbiage that assigns a hazardous class and category to each chemical, a statement that demonstrates how the chemical should be handled, and specific words that classify the level of severity that the hazard contains.
  • Safety Data Sheets: The new formatting of these sheets will follow a standardized 16 section design, illustrating the chemical’s information.

Find out more about the OSHA Hazard Communication changes here.

For a free chemical storage consultation call 1-800-233-1480 or contact us online.


1.LION. How GHS Affects OSHA’s Flammable Liquid Standard; September 2, 2014.

2. SCHC Alliance. Info Sheet #2 Flammable (and Combustible) Liquids. Jan. 2010.

3OSHA. Hazard Communication; Fact Sheet. June 2015.

4. OSHA.gov. Hazard Communication Compliance; Small Entity Compliance. May 2014.

5. MSDS Online. GHS 101: Labels; GHS: Hazard Communication Labeling.

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