Chemical Labeling for Safety: Best Practices for Compliance & Results

Sep 15th 2020

When it comes to safety, efficiency, and compliance, adhering to best practices in labeling can be as important as adherence to best practices in production. This is especially true for organizations that use automated and high-speed manufacturing processes. Your team needs to be able to recognize a chemical container and identify its contents at a glance. Also, your customers depend on you to communicate to them accurately, and chemical labeling is an important part of that.

On the internal side of production, a wrong label can lead to a protracted search for the right one. Without proper, accurate labeling it can be hard to be sure that you’re turning your inventory over in a first-in, first-out manner which means you may run into problems with shelf-life limitations.

The Basics of Chemical Labeling

Chemicals available commercially should come pre-labeled. However, obscured, damaged, or missing labels pose a potential for loss and hazard. What’s more, your organization may require custom labels to properly integrate critical substances into your production space.

  • Safety Labels & Safety Decals: These informative stickers should be durable, water-resistant, and display relevant safety information about the contained substance clearly and readily.
  • Chemical Labels: Chemical labels should contain signal words, product name, chemical name, directions for use, manufacturer details in some cases, and expiration date. Some chemicals may need to be labeled so as to identify the chemical, concentration of ingredients, and name and location of the intended user.
  • Custom Labels: Labels specially designed for line of sight requirements, reading at distance, and for proprietary contents data.
  • Hazardous Materials Labels: The American National Standards Institute, ANSI, requires all hazardous chemicals and chemical waste labels to contain the following data:
  • full chemical name and concentrations
  • Indication of either hazardous substances or dangerous goods
  • The user name and contact number
  • Date of collection
  • The location where waste was collected

Three Principles for a Successful Labeling Process

For consistent success in chemical contents identification, manufacturers should base their labeling process on the following principles

Capture Key Product

Outgoing products, quantity, and container data should be captured once and be reused as appropriate to label substances correctly.

Tight Label Control

Label control should be persistent and robust to minimize waste and prevent errors.

Timely & Accurate Labeling

Labeling must be done correctly and in a timely fashion to assure consistent quality and to aggressively segregate questionable substances.

Best Practices for Chemical Labeling

Modern facilities require a higher standard of labeling accuracy and clarity to avoid lost time to second-guessing and the high cost of errors.

  • Apply labels as close as possible in both space and time to where work is performed.
  • Choose custom text and images into sales orders that integrate production tracking, scheduling, and fulfillment.
  • Work with a label manufacturer who has the ability to draft and edit label layouts to adjust to new customer accounts.
  • As your label printer about incorporating the use of barcode tech for fast, error-free identification
  • Work with a label manufacturer that keeps and maintains a master file of labeling requirements for customer-side and specific internal production processes.

Good labeling practices are not just about safety, but also efficiency and your bottom line. To learn more, get in touch with the labeling experts today.

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