The Hazard Communication Standard provides six elements that must be included on shipped containers. The hazard statement, signal word, and pictograms are the standardized elements of the label, which means that they may not deviate from the language or elements provided for each hazard class and category.
The hazard pictograms, or symbols, relay health, physical, and environmental hazard information for a given hazard classification. The pictograms all consist of black symbols on a white background, surrounded by a red frame. There are eight pictograms associated with the 29 hazard classes. As mentioned earlier, each hazard class has an associated pictogram.
The signal words that are provided are either “Danger” or “Warning.” Again, the signal words are prescribed for each hazard class and category. The final standardized elements of the label are the hazard statements; these standardized phrases describe the nature of the hazard.
The additional elements for the label include the precautionary statements and pictograms, which provide supplemental information about prevention, response, storage, and disposal, aimed at minimizing or preventing adverse effects, and the product name or identifier, the supplier information, and the supplemental information.
The second type of labeling is the workplace or secondary container labels at your facility. You will probably find workplace labels on chemicals that have been transferred to a new container after arriving at your facility. These labels are not specifically required to comply with the six label elements that are provided in the GHS for shipping labels, but they must not contradict and needs to include the updated hazard classification information.
Learn more about hazard communications in our online safety training course.