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Hazardous Material Labels

FSI Label Company can help keep you compliant with the latest regulations and standards that govern the safe handling and transporting of hazardous materials. From the Department of Transportation (DOT) to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), numerous regulations are imposed on chemical manufacturers, importers, and distributors and with good reason – public safety. It can, however, be a daunting task to not only keep up with the ever-changing laws, but also to implement and adjust your system to maintain compliance.

GHS Compliant Labels

FSI Label Company can help you achieve an effective hazard communication program by supplying you with the required labels to remain compliant with the newest regulations. For more information on what the new regulations require, go to our educational resources below.

fireWe can provide your organization with the proper pictograph labels that include the mandatory red border printed on materials that are in compliance with GHS standards, including BS5609: 1986 Section 2 – Maritime and Laboratory Performance of Label Base Materials for drum labeling.

Whether you are looking for IMDG compliant laser and inkjet material, certain specifications in materials, ink, or any other labeling needs, FSI Label Company can provide you with the labels you need to stay compliant!

Everything You Need to Know About GHS

Running business operations is hard enough, let alone making sure that you’ve updated all of your systems to be compliant with the latest regulations for Hazard Communication. FSI Label Company wants to help you stay compliant with the new regulations as well as providing you with the resources you need on GHS!

What is GHS?

GHS stands for “Globally Harmonized System”, which was the classification system developed by the United Nations (UN) to provide an international standard and harmonization for the classification and labeling of chemicals. The underlying goal of this system is to:

  • Ensure that employers, employees, and the public are provided adequate, practical, and comprehensive information on the hazards of chemicals
  • Enhance the protection of human health and the environment by creating an internationally comprehensible system
  • Fewer accidents and incidents with Chemicals
  • A safer work environment and improved employee relations
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Based on the UN’s Globally Harmonized System, the Operational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has developed regulations under the Hazard Communication Standard. While the UN documentation provides the standard internationally, OSHA’s interpretation is specific for the United States. To best understand what is required for your organization to be compliant, we recommend becoming familiar with both documents.

Who is affected and what is changing?

The Globally Harmonized System and Hazard Communication Standard will effect companies that manufacture, distribute, import chemicals, as well as those businesses that use chemicals in their workplace. For the purpose of these regulations and systems, they split effected companies into two categories:

1. Chemical Producers/Manufacturers: This includes companies that manufacture, distribute or import chemicals.

Manufacturer Responsibilities:

  • Review and stay educated on all hazard information for chemicals produced/imported
  • Classify chemicals to new standards
  • Continually update Safety Data Sheets (SDS) to accompany chemicals manufactured.

2.  Chemical Users: This includes any businesses that use chemicals in their workplace

Users Responsibilities:

  • Keep Safety Data Sheets (SDS) continually updated with changes as they become available
  • Provide proper training on the new label elements & ensure compliant labels are applied to all containers.
  • Update company programs/policy on hazard communications.

Regulation Timeline Requirements

The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) and Hazard Communication Standards (HCS) started implementing the new regulations on December, 1st of 2013, when they mandated that employers train employees on the new label elements and Safety Data Sheet (SDS) changes. Below is a table that includes the timeline for the GHS and HCS – with the biggest change effective June 1, 2015:

  • December 1, 2013 – Train employees on the new label elements and SDS format
  • (June 1, 2015*) December 1, 2015 – Comply with all modified provisions of this final rule, except distributors may ship products labeled by manufacturers under the old system until December 1, 2015
  • June 1, 2016 – Update alternative workplace labeling and hazard communication program as necessary, and provide additional employee training for newly identified physical or health hazards
  • Transition Period – Comply with either 29 CFR 1910.1200 (this final standard), or the current standard, or both

HCS Compliant Labels

At this point, you may be wondering what exactly is required in the new system for a label to meet the new Hazard Communication Standards. What do you need to include to be compliant? To the right is a sample label, and below are definitions of what each item required means:

Product Identifier:

The name or number associated with the hazardous chemical on the label or on the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). This provides the user with a globally recognized way to identify the chemical and follow proper safety protocol while handling.

Signal Word:

Labels are required to use a word to indicate the level of severity of the hazard contained to alert the user of potential dangers.

Supplier Identification:

Under the new standards, labels must include the name, address, and telephone number of the manufacturer, importer, or responsible party.


An image that globally alerts users of the chemical hazards to which they may be exposed. Each pictogram consists of a symbol on a white background framed within a red border and represents a distinct hazard. A description of each pictogram can be found on OSHA’s website.

Hazard Statement:

Statement that is assigned to a class and category for a hazard that describes the chemical contained. For example, “toxic if swallowed”.

Precautionary Statement:

Responsible for alerting users to hazards while handling chemical contained. There are four types of statements: “Prevention”, “Response”, “Storage” and “Disposal”.

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