What are HazCom labels?

Hazardous chemicals are a part of many workplaces. Making sure that employees understand the dangers associated with each type of chemical is an important part of an overall workplace safety program. To help to ensure everyone understands what chemicals are present, what hazards are associated with them, and other important information, OSHA has come up with a hazardous communication standard, which they call HazCom. One important piece of this system is the labels that are used on containers and other things that use these chemicals.

The HazCom labeling system works along with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for chemical safety. These two systems are typically used together in the same areas to help ensure effective visual communication is possible for everyone who enters a given area. Learning about GHS labels, and how they work with HazCom labels, is very important for any facility.

What are HazCom Labels?

There are a number of different types of labels that can be used as a part of this type of system. Most people have seen one or more examples of these labels. They will typically have three colored sections based on the specific hazard. The colors are blue, for health-related hazards, red for flammability related hazards, and yellow for reactivity hazards. There is often also a white box that is used to identify what, if any, personal protection gear needs to be used in the area around the chemical.

These labels should be applied to all containers that store dangerous chemicals, all vehicles that transport these chemicals, all machines that use the chemicals, and any other location where hazardous chemicals are present. The labels are typically quite simple, and only contain a limited amount of information. This is done intentionally to help ensure a company is able to put the most important details out there for people to see and understand at a glance.

Choosing HazCom Labels

Any facility that has to follow the HazCom standard will need to have a good supply of these labels. The two main options for acquiring the labels are to buy them pre-made from a third-party print shop or creating them as needed on an industrial label printer. Either way, these labels are affordable and very easy to use. With just some basic training, all employees can be brought up to speed on the meaning of the HazCom labels so the facility can operate as safely as possible.


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