Exposure to dangerous chemicals in small and large quantities can prove fatal. Exposure to hazardous chemicals can cause long-term health effects or even death. It is important to clearly label hazardous chemicals in your facility and to warn employees and visitors about the dangers that can be associated with their exposure.
OSHA regulations are in place to ensure that chemical hazard communication is a part of companies' safety and health programs. Label compliance with hazard labels is an important component of these regulations.
Employers are required to label, tag, or mark all hazardous chemicals stored in their workplace with the chemical's identity and any associated hazards. Hazardous chemicals must be marked with any information if they are not intended to be used immediately.
Choosing a chemical hazard label
There are a variety of formats available when choosing a chemical hazards label. Here are some examples:
NFPA FormatThe National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) system uses a 4-color diamond panel to indicate the type of hazard or level of danger. Each color represents a different type of hazard.
Color Bar Identification Format The Color Bar format displays hazard information vertically stacked in colored bars. This is slightly different than NFPA. Each color bar corresponds with one of the four diamonds on the NFPA label. The number ratings and colors are the same.
Personal Protective Format: The Personal Protection Format contains either the NFPA or Color Bar designs. It also includes information about personal protective equipment that is required for chemical use.
Target Organ Format Similar to the Personal Protective form, the Target Organ format uses either the Color Bar or NFPA designs but then identifies the organs and body areas that the chemical may affect.