Labels for Hazardous Materials

Hazard Communication (GHS)

Labels and other forms of warning

Under the original Hazard Communication Standard (HCS/HazCom 1994), the label required 3 pieces of information from manufacturers:

  1. Identity of chemical
  2. Appropriate hazard warning
  3. Name and address of manufacturer.

Under the revised Hazard Communication Standard (HCS2012), once the hazard classification is completed, the standard specifies what information is to be provided for each hazard class and category.  

HCS 2012 Label Requirements

  1. Product Identifier
  2. Signal Word
  3. Pictogram(s)
  4. Hazard Statements
  5. Precautionary Statements
  6. Supplemental Information



Label Requirements for Containers


Workplace containers must show either:

  1. Product identifier and
  2. Words, pictures, symbols, or combination thererof, which provide at least general information regarding the hazards of the chemicals, and which, in conjunction with the other information immediately available to employees under the HCS2012, will provide employees with the specific information regarding the physical and health hazards of the hazardous chemical.

The product identifier on the label can be any name that links the label, the SDS, and the inventory list of chemicals.

Stationary Process Containers

Stationary process containers may be labeled with

  • signs,
  • placards,
  • process sheets,
  • batch tickets, operating procedures, or
  • other such written materials

This labeling may be used in lieu of affixing labels to individual stationary process containers, as long as the alternative method identifies the containers to which it is applicable and conveys the information required by paragraph (f)(6) of the Hazard Communication Standard to be on a label.

The supervisor shall ensure the written materials are readily accessible to the employees in their work area throughout each work shift.

Additional Label Requirements

Existing labels on incoming containers of hazardous chemicals must not be removed or defaced -- unless the container is immediately marked with the required information.

Workplace labels or other forms of warning must be

  • legible,
  • in English, and
  • other languages may be used on the label, as long as the information is presented in English as well.

Labels must be revised with any new, significant information regarding the hazards of a chemical within six months of becoming aware of the new information.

Examples of workplace labels:  container, transferred container, stationary container.

For additional information contact:

Marjorie Markopoulos, Biological and Chemical Safety Officer 937-775-2797

Greg Merkle, Environmental Health and Safety Specialist 937-775-2217