The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals is a worldwide initiative to promote standard criteria for classifying chemicals according to their health, physical and environmental hazards. It uses pictograms, hazard statements and the words "Danger" and "Warning" to communicate hazard information on product labels and safety data sheets in a logical and comprehensive way. The primary goal of GHS is better protection of human health and the environment by providing chemical user and handlers, emergency first responders and the public with enhanced and consistent information on chemical hazards (www2.epa.gov).
If you are in a business that uses hazardous chemicals, you are aware that OSHA requires manufacturers, distributors and end users to have all their labels GHS compliant.
Six required GHS label components are:
- Product Name or Identifier
- Signal Word
- Hazard Statement
- Precautionary Statement
- Supplier Information
It may seem like a huge task to get all of this done, but you can simplify the process by using Avery's UltraDuty GHS Chemical Labels. This is a line of labels that are chemical, abrasion, UV, temperature and tear resistant, as well as waterproof. They are made with a marine grade adhesive and they passed the BS5609 protocol for 90-day seawater immersion. There are 8 sizes available for laser printers and 3 available in continuous forms that are compatible with Epson ColorWorks C831 printers.
You print them through the Avery Print & Design Wizard (online). You can add your own text and graphics or use their GHS Wizard. Here's a short video:
Now, I don't have hazardous chemicals that I need to label and leave outside, but I did test the printing and the wizard (of course that would interest me since I am one!) and it was very simple and straightforward. The wizard includes all the pictograms and GHS compliant statements needed for GHS labeling, as well as the ability to add your own logo or images, customize the text, generate 18 types of barcodes and add lot numbers or other variable data to the labels. (I also tried with all my might to tear them, but I couldn't - they're very strong.)
I like this product and I think that if you are someone who needs it, you will like it too. Because I can't adequately test Avery's claims as far as being chemical, abrasion, temperature and UV proof, I'm going to give it 4 paperclips. If you've used these, I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to post a comment with your own ratings!