May 27, 2024
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Labelling and Transporting Chemicals: GHS Labels

There are chemicals in a wide range of products that we use such as bleach and kitchen cleaners/de-scalers, maintenance products such as paints and garden chemicals to work place manufacturing products such as paints, inks, adhesives and resins.

We use these products daily and can come complacent with the nature of these harmful chemicals if not stored, transported and handled with care.  To avoid confusion of hazard warning symbols, in 2009 GHS was established, this is the new Globally Harmonised System of classification and labelling of chemicals.

The new harmonised system came into effect in January 2009 with the intention of phasing out the older hazard warning symbols (orange and black design).  The aim of the GHS regulation was to create a world wide recognisable system of chemical labelling and classification.

With this transition almost at completion do take a look and familiarise yourself with impending symbols.  Feel free to download our “New Labels for Chemicals” PDF to aid you and your staff with the visual GHS warnings and meanings.

Corrosive Material GHS Label –   This warning label is used when the chemical is a corrosive material which may cause burns to the skin or permanent eye damage.  It may corrode metals.

Explosive Hazard GHS Label – This warning label can be used when a substance if exposed to fire, shock, friction or heat has to potential to explode.

Flammable Substance GHS Label – This warning label indicates that the product may be flammable if exposed to ignition sources, a spark or heat.  *Some substances with this symbol may give off flammable gasses in contact with water.

Irritant GHS Warning Label – This label advises the intended product may cause irritation (rash or redness) or less serious toxicity.  The product may also cause damage to the ozone layer.

Oxidising GHS Label – This label poses the warning the chemical can burn even without air, or can intensify a fire in combustible materials.

Toxic Materials GHS Label – This label advises of a toxic material hazard which may cause life threatening effects even in small amounts and with short exposure.

Environmental GHS Labels – This GHS warning label advises the product could be toxic to aquatic organisms and may cause long lasting effects in the environment.

Health Hazard GHS Label – This hazard label warns of serious and prolonged health effects on short or long term exposure of a substance.

Compressed Gas Label – This label advises of contents containing gas under pressure.  Gas released may be very cold and Gas container may explode if heated.

Chemical Safeguarding tips:

  • Always refer to the label on the product before using the chemical and follow any safety advise or precautions given by the supplier.
  • Store chemicals safely in their original containers, preferably in a locked cupboard.
  • If you need more advice about the safe use of the chemical call the supplier listed on the product.
  • For disposing of old or unwanted chemicals contact your local council or local authority for best disposal practices.  Never dispose of chemicals in sinks, toilets or drains.