The United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) is one of the most significant regulatory changes to affect workplace health and safety practices in many years. This white paper describes how the GHS provides the foundation for a universal approach to classifying and communicating information about chemical hazards. The system is designed to ensure safe production, transport and use of chemicals as they move through the product life cycle. The GHS establishes practices for the use of labels, symbols, safety data sheets and hazardous chemical classifications. Regulatory authorities in countries that voluntarily adopt the GHS will implement agreed upon criteria and provisions through their own regulatory processes and procedures. In the United States, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is in the process of phasing the GHS into its Hazard Communication Standard, with full implementation by June 1, 2015. During the transition period, chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers operating in the U.S. may comply with either 29 Code of Federal Regulations 1910.1200 (new revised, 2012), the current standard or both. By reducing incongruities in chemical hazard handling practices, the GHS is expected to significantly enhance employee and environmental protections.
This UL white paper provides an overview of the application of the lean continuous improvement framework in the healthcare environment, providing brief summaries of specific healthcare cases in which lean methods have been implemented and concludes with a business case for continuous improvement and innovation.