Safety and health newsletter for the Oregon construction industry


October 15 , 2012

container labeling

Labeling containers of hazardous chemicals

If you use hazardous chemicals at your workplace, you must ensure that each hazardous chemical container has a legible label in English that identifies the chemical and warns of its hazards. Don’t remove or deface the label.

Labels on containers shipped to you

Suppliers must ensure that each hazardous chemical product sold to you has a label that includes:

  • A product identifier
  • A signal word
  • A hazard statement
  • A pictogram
  • Precautionary statements
  • The supplier’s name, address, and telephone number

Example of a hazard communication label, identifying the required label elements

Examples of hazard communication pictograms and hazards

If you’re not sure that a hazardous chemical container is properly labeled, contact the supplier.

You can also use the label or label elements on stationary process containers (such as storage tanks). Or, you can use an alternative format if it communicates the information as effectively as the label. For example, label information about a stationary container could be displayed in the work area, rather than on the individual container.

Examples of situations where chemicals may be transferred from supplier containers to stationary process containers include storage tanks, containers for laboratory testing, and piping or process reaction systems.

There’s an exception for portable containers

You don’t need to put a warning label on a portable container if you use it to transfer a hazardous chemical from a labeled container; however, the chemical in the unlabeled container must be for immediate use. Immediate use means that “the hazardous chemical will be under the control of and used only by the person who transfers it from a labeled container and only during the work shift in which it is transferred.”


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