NFPA 704: Brief Introduction and Comparison with US GHS

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Jamie Cao, Gloria Chen
Thursday , 12th Jan 2017
REACH24H Consulting Group China

NFPA 704 is a standard for the identification of the hazards of materials for emergency response maintained by the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association). It provides a simple system for the recognition of hazards by using a 4-section diamond with each quadrant being blue, red, yellow and white, respectively.  The meanings of each color are as follows: blue represents health hazards, red represents flammability, yellow represents reactivity and white provides information about special precautions.  Within each quadrant (except the white) is a number from 0 to 4 indicating the degree of risk associated with the material. The higher the number, the higher the risk. As a voluntary label, NFPA 704 labels provides an immediate sense of potential hazards to workers at workplace, such as production facilities, warehouses, storage tanks, and storage sheds.

The US has fully implemented revised HCS since June 1st 2016. Employers are now required to be in full compliance, including classification of chemicals, completion of SDS/Label and training of employees.  HCS and NFPA 704 labels both focus on safety at workplace, yet they are quite different from one another. Reach24h hereby offers you briefing on NFPA 704 and comparison with HCS labels to give you a better understanding. 

  • 1) Introduction of NFPA 704 and classification criteria

  • 2) Comparison of NFPA 704 and GHS labels

  • 3) Preparation of a NFPA 704 label 

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