Clemson University

III. Labeling Requirements

The supervisor must ensure that all containers of hazardous chemicals in his/her area of responsibility are properly labeled. The chemical manufacturer/distributor is required to provide labels on all hazardous chemicals shipped. These labels should include a product identifier, signal word, hazard statement(s), pictogram(s), precautionary statement(s), and the name, address, and telephone number of the manufacturer, importer, or other responsible party. Portable containers of working solutions must also be labeled appropriately. Labels must be legible and must be prominently displayed on the container. Labels on incoming containers must not be defaced or removed until the container is empty. Once the container is empty, the guidelines in the University Hazardous Waste Management Manual should be followed for container disposal. Whenever chemicals are transferred into another container, the container must be labeled with the full chemical name, appropriate hazard warnings, and the manufacturer’s name, address and telephone number. The date of transfer, name or initials of the person making the transfer, and additional information about the possible health effects should also be included. In the event that labels must be created, the labels must be durable, legible, and must be firmly affixed to the container(s). Labels should be replaced whenever they fade, peel, or otherwise deteriorate so as to become difficult to read. All chemicals should be dated upon receipt. No chemical should ever be used without completely reading the label. Contents of all vessels, pipelines, storage tanks, etc. must be adequately labeled. Products that are synthesized at Clemson and distributed outside of the University proper must be labeled in accordance with OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard, if they contain hazardous chemicals in concentrations greater than one percent (or 0.1% for carcinogens). If shipping hazardous chemicals from Clemson University, labeling must comply with the 2012 HCS , must be shipped with a Safety Data Sheet, and the personnel shipping the material must have completed the appropriate training. Further information regarding labeling may be found in Appendix C to 29CFR1910.1200 – Allocation of Label Elements.

  • Signal Words are used to indicate the relative level of severity of a hazard.  It alerts the user to a potential hazard.  There are only two words allowed: “Danger” and “Warning”.  Danger is used for more severe hazards.  Warning is used for less severe hazards.  Only one signal word will appear on the chemical label.  Not all labels will have a signal word; some chemicals are not hazardous enough to require that a signal word appear on the label.
  • Hazard Statements are assigned to a hazard class and category that describes the nature of the hazard based on the chemical hazard classification.  For example a hazard statement may be “fatal if swallowed” or “toxic in contact with skin.”
  • Precautionary Statements describe the recommended measures to be taken to minimize or prevent adverse effects from exposure to a hazardous chemical or improper storage or handling of a hazardous chemical.  Some examples of precautionary statements are “if swallowed call poison control” or “store away from other materials.”
Pictograms are intended to convey specific information about the hazards of a chemical.  Pictograms will have a black picture atop a white background within a red square frame set on a point.  There are nine pictograms under the 2012 HCS, but only eight are enforced by OSHA.  The environmental pictogram for aquatic toxicity is not mandatory because OSHA does not have jurisdictional authority.  See Attachment G.