Accessibility statement

Comparison of new and old classification systems

  • Hazard Warning Symbols
  • Old: 7 orange / black 'hazard symbols'

 Old hazard warning symbols

  • New: 9 hazard 'pictograms' (red / black diamonds)

New hazard labels

Simplified comparison of old and new hazard labels (MS Word , 431kb)

Detailed comparison of old and new labels (PDF , 1,204kb)

  •  Hazard Classes & Categories

Instead of being assigned to one of 15 ‘categories of danger’ as in the past, substances are now categorized into hazard classes (PDF , 1,204kb) and hazard categories (PDF , 1,204kb)

  • Physical Hazards: 16 hazard classes
  • Health Hazards: 10 hazard classes
  • Environmental  Hazards: 2 hazard classes

While the hazard classes indicate the type of danger, the hazard categories indicate the level of danger within the classes.

For the ‘acute toxicity’, ‘skin or respiratory tract sensitization’, ‘reproductive toxicity’ and ‘specific target organ toxicity – single exposure’ hazard classes, various routes of exposure or modes of action are differentiated (e.g. acute / chronic).

  • A global signal word of either 'Danger' or 'Warning' to be used on chemical labels to give a quick indication of hazard severity level (‘danger’ > ‘harmful’). These words will replace the ‘indication of danger’ words such as corrosive, harmful, irritant, flammable previously used on labels.
  • Risk and Safety phrases (R and S phrases) replaced by Hazard and Precautionary Statements:
  • H200s for Physical hazards
  • H300s for Health hazards
  • H400s for Environmental hazards
Hazard statements (PDF , 551kb) give a more comprehensive coverage of hazardous properties.  Many of the phrases, although have a similar meaning, are worded differently, e.g.: 'R28 Toxic if swallowed' is replaced by 'H300 Fatal if swallowed'. 'R42 May cause sensitisation by inhalation' is replaced by 'H334 May cause allergy or asthma symptoms or breathing difficulties if inhaled'.
  • P100s for General
  • P200s for Prevention
  • P300s for Response
  • P400s for Storage
  • P500s for Disposal
Precautionary statements (PDF , 551kb)allocated according to the relevant hazards, are far more detailed than the old safety phrases
  • New Material Safety Data Sheets