The time to read chemical labels is before you start the job
The OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (“HazCom”) places several requirements on manufacturers and on users of chemical substances for providing hazard specific information.
Manufacturers or producers of chemical products must develop hazard information in the form of product labels and Safety Data Sheets. These must be passed along to customers who use these products.
Their customers, in turn, must ensure that this information is made available to their employees and to contractors who may be exposed to these products.
The information must address health concerns such as irritation and toxic effects; physical hazards such as fire risks and reactivity with other chemicals; and recommended protective measures such as PPE and proper storage.
At JJ White we have an MSDS online site where we have access to over 1,000,000 Safety Data Sheets for products that we either may bring onsite or for products that are already on a site.
With respect to labels, these are used to give immediate information on the hazards of chemicals in containers at the point of use. Key words are often used such as “Corrosive” and “Flammable”, rather than lengthy descriptions, to quickly alert the user so that proper precautions can be taken. For more detailed information, always refer to the SDS for the product.
Never remove or deface a label provided on a container. This includes any DOT hazard markings. If you are unsure of labeling information, contact your supervisor or Industrial Hygiene for assistance.
Also, when transferring chemicals from one container to another, a label must be affixed to the secondary containers.