Businesses across various industries use different types of hazardous products in their operations and maintenance activities. Many of these materials may cause accidents and injuries if not properly labelled.
Take for example the chemicals used for cleaning surfaces and floors. Many, if not all of these commercial cleaners, are toxic when ingested. If a cleaning solution is transferred to a smaller bottle and that bottle does not indicate what it contained before or does not have any information about safe handling, those using it may suffer from poisoning and chemical reactions.
Having the right identification labels on containers and hazardous products would eliminate some of the risks associated with handling dangerous or toxic substances. Labels inform users about the major hazards. Labels also outline the basic precautions required, as well as the safety steps to follow in case the product is ingested.
Kinds of labels
The two types of labels are workplace labels and supplier labels. Supplier labels are attached to products containing hazardous substances. If the product will be used in the same container, the supplier label will suffice.
If the product is poured or transferred into another container, you need to put a workplace label on it. Workplace labels are also recommended if a hazardous product is made and used in your facility and if a supplier label becomes unreadable or lost.
What to put on a workplace label
When making workplace labels, make sure these contain the name of the product and safe handling precautions. Include pictograms, a hazard symbol and other information on the supplier label. You can visit the supplier’s website for a detailed documentation about the product you have.
Workplace safety tips
Workplace safety is not just the responsibility of the management. Every employee should be aware of the safety policies when working with hazardous products.
- Before using any product, be sure to check if there is a label on it.
- Know and understand the proper handling of hazardous products. Follow the directions for use.
- For workers: Ask for a new label when the current one cannot be read clearly.
- For managers: Check labels regularly to see if these are still in good condition and are readable. Make new labels when necessary.
- Do not use a product that does not have a label, or if the label cannot be read clearly.
Safety is a priority when handling hazardous substances. Follow these tips to keep your workers safe, healthy and productive.