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Signage and Labeling Hazardous Materials
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Identifying Common Hazardous WastesPt. 2: Complying with OSHA's Hazardous Waste StandardsPt. 3: This PagePt. 4: Hazardous Materials: Proper Storage StrategiesPt. 5: Managing Compressed-Gas CylindersPt. 6: Necessary Supplies for Hazmat EmergenciesPt. 7: Hazardous Materials: Focus on Flammables
Once managers have identified hazardous materials, they need to communicate the hazards they present to those who would come into contact with the materials. Proper labeling on the containers or the products themselves can effectively meet this requirement.
OSHA requires the labeling of hazardous chemicals. But some products, such as cleaning solvents transferred to smaller containers for easier use by employees, might not have labels. Cleaning products mixed for daily use by employees do not necessarily require labeling unless their use extends beyond the work shift or to other employees.
Signs also are mandatory for storage cabinets, chemical-storage rooms, compressed-gas storage, and waste-storage areas. Managers often benefit from using commercially available labeling and signage software, which generates proper labels and signs compliant with regulations.
Managers also should be aware of new symbols now in use for labels and signs that conform to updated international standards. They will need to select software or buy labels and signs that comply with these new international standards.