Part of the GHS effort to create a more harmonized system of hazard communication is the hazard pictogram. Pictograms are small icons located on labels and safety data sheets that represent a distinct hazard. Which pictogram appears on the label and SDS is determined by the hazard classification of the product. The table below lists all of the GHS hazard pictograms and the hazard categories they represent.
A product label could have one pictogram, four pictograms, or no pictograms, depending on its hazards. Something that is both flammable and corrosive will have both the flame pictogram and the corrosion pictogram on its label and SDS. Something that is only mildly irritating to skin or is not hazardous at all will have no pictogram.
Within each hazard category, a product is classified based on its severity using a numbering system; Category 1 hazards are the most severe and Category 5 hazards are the least severe. For example, something that is extremely flammable would be a Category 1 Flammable Liquid, while something that is less flammable would be a Category 3 or 4 Flammable Liquid. However, regardless of the number, the flame pictogram would appear on the label and SDS for both products. This guideline applies to all the hazard categories and pictograms defined by GHS.
Check out Multi-Clean’s GHS Training Webpage for PowerPoint training presentations on all GHS label and SDS elements, including pictograms. On the training webpage is also a Pictogram Poster that can be printed out and displayed.