How many times have you come across a spray bottle that had some liquid with no label and questioned the contents? Occasionally you will see in the news where someone has mixed unknown chemicals and ended up at the hospital in respiratory distress or suffering some other life threatening condition. It is likely either at work or at home, we all have dropped the ball at least once when it comes to labeling secondary containers when transferring chemicals. While it might seem to save us time/energy (and be completely innocent) the potential risk could be at the least a waste of valuable time and at the worse catastrophic.
Injuries aside, the fact is when chemicals are transferred to a secondary container and left unlabeled, the law is broken. In the workplace, all chemical containers are required to have a label identifying the contents.
As defined in OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard, a label means any “written, printed or graphic material, displayed on or affixed to containers of hazardous chemicals.” The definition of “Hazardous Chemical” isn’t what one would expect. OSHA states, a hazardous chemical is any chemical which can cause physical harm or health hazards. In short any chemical in the workplace that requires a Safety Data Sheet (SDS).
At Wachs, our common GHS label with graphics not only complies with the law, it provides valuable data to ensure that we have the necessary information to protect ourselves, our teammates and Wachs.
Labels on secondary containers must contain the following legible information; (preferably in permanent sharpie), which is easily obtained from each chemicals’ SDS:
GHS Label Requirements
1) Signal Word. The signal word indicates hazard level. It's like a safety sign header for your chemicals. "Danger" is used for the most severe instances, while "Warning" is less severe.
2) GHS Symbols (Hazard Pictograms). These are used to identify hazardous products and are commonly grouped by chemical/physical risk, health/environmental risk.
3) Manufacturer Information. This identifies the manufacturer's company name and contact information.
4) Hazard Statements. These are phrases that describe the nature of hazardous products and the degree of hazard. Hazard statements should be found on the chemical's SDS.
5) Precautionary Statements/First Aid. These are phrases that are tied to each hazard statement. These statements will be found on the chemical's Safety Data Sheet.
6) Product Name or Identifiers. Simply identify the product or chemical name.