Hazard Communications, Labels, Tags & Signs

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Chemical Hazard
Hazard labels affixed to containers holding chemicals help prevent serious injuries and provide useful information. Examples of hazardous workplace chemical products include solvents, paints, and window cleaners. Staples® has a varied selection of hazard signage, along with other laboratory safety and scientific supplies, to help ensure the safe use of household and industrial chemicals.

How to Select a Compliant Chemical Hazard Sign
The first step to choosing a label for a chemical container is finding one that accurately describes the content of the container as well as its dangers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires chemical labels to follow the universal model provided by the United Nations’ GHS (Global Harmonized System). A standard GHS label must include these six elements: product identifier, signal word, hazard pictograms and statements, precautions, and manufacturer/supplier information.

When shopping for GHS-compliant chemical hazard warning signs, look for ones that carry the correct names of the chemicals to be stored. These can be product or chemical names. There are two possible signal words: "Danger" to describe severe hazards and "Warning" for less severe risks. A hazard statement describes the nature and degree of chemical hazard. Make sure the labels you pick use appropriate pictograms to illustrate the physical, health, and environmental risks of the identified chemical products. Lastly, precautionary statements provide preventative and first aid information for identified chemical risks as well as special handling instructions about storage and disposal.

Choose Between Standalone Chemical Hazard Signs and Pre-labeled Bottles
Pre-labeled containers make chemical storage more convenient. In addition to including GHS-compliant labels, these store chemicals in containers made of the right materials. Some also include content delivery mechanisms like spray nozzles. Choose standalone hazard warning signs when storing hazardous chemicals in different containers of varying sizes. They can go on beakers, tubs, pails, and large bottles. While pre-labeled bottles are suitable for storing commonly used household chemicals like cleaning solutions and small volumes of workplace chemical products, standalone labels are best for industrial chemicals and large containers.

What Is the Difference Between Primary and Secondary Container Chemical Hazard Signs?
Primary hazard warning labels are already on the chemical products when received from manufacturers while secondary ones go on containers holding chemicals transferred from primary containers. Secondary labels are usually smaller in order to fit small containers like spray bottles.

Do Hazard Label Colors Matter?
GHS-compliant chemical labels use two sets of color pairs. Some are white labels with red headers while others are yellow labels with black headers. These colors provide sharp contrasts in order to make warning labels highly visible and attract attention.

What Materials Do Hazard Signs Use?
They can use a number of printed media ranging from paper to plastic film. Hazard warning labels should be durable and capable of withstanding tough environments and chemical spills. GHS regulations require that these labels be chemical, abrasion, UV, and weather-resistant. They should also use marine-grade waterproof adhesives. For tough and permanent signs, tags, and labels suitable for a wide range of chemical storage, look for laminated options with 3M™ industrial adhesive backing.

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