Odds are, if you work in the chemical business you’ve heard of the impending hazardous material labeling requirements known as GHS labels. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Hazard Communication Standard (OSHA) will soon make changes with how companies label their products, enforcing a global standard across the industry. Here’s a breakdown of GHS - and a few tips - to help ensure compliance.
Historically, companies have been allowed to create their own labels using pictograms to depict dangers of the product. As of June 1, 2015, all labels will be required to follow a specific template and use global pictograms. The pictograms are now standardized to make it easier for people around the world to understand dangers. These new modifications are expected to prevent 500 workplace injuries and illnesses and 43 fatalities annually.
Breakdown of the GHS Template
The new GHS label template has several standardized elements that need to be included on each label. These requirements are:
Product identifier – Name of the chemical must be present at the top of the label
Signal word – Labels must include the word “Danger” or the word “Warning”
GHS pictograms – The standard pictograms must be printed in red and not left empty
Hazard statements – An explanation of potential dangers caused by the chemical must be provided
Precautionary statements – Instructions for handling the chemical must also be included
Supplier information – Clearly state who is manufacturing or distributing the chemical
Additional customer requirement (Optional) – Additional requirements may be added, including lot number, fill date, weight or expiration date
Making Compliance Easier
The standardized elements will require you to gather information from your ERP system, as well as from external chemical databases.
It might sound daunting, but utilizing a labeling solution like Print Suite Bridge, that enables you to pull this information from numerous sources and print it all to one label can help eliminate any extra steps. These solutions bring everything conveniently together, allowing you to login to one place and complete your work efficiently and correctly, according to OSHA standards.
As for printing, even if you use multiple carriers for your shipping, it’s a ‘one-stop-shop’ as well. If you want to print carrier-specific labels, you don’t have to waste time and money on unnecessary hardware – using a labeling solution allows you to print everything from one printer.