Chemical Container Labeling

Original (Manufacturer's/Supplier's) Containers

Do not remove or deface the original manufacturer’s labels while the original substance is still inside.  If the label becomes damaged then contact the Stockroom Manager for help in obtaining a replacement label.

By June 1, 2016, all containers that are received from chemical manufacturers/suppliers will have the following six required GHS label elements attached to the container:

  • Product Identifier: This can be (but is not limited to) the chemical name, code number or batch number
  • Supplier Info (Name, Address, and Telephone Number)
  • Signal Word:  Indicates the relative severity of the hazard.  There are only two words used as Signal Words: “Danger” and “Warning.”  Within a specific Hazard Class, “Danger” is used for the more severe hazards and “Warning” is used for the less severe hazards.
  • Pictogram(s)
  • Hazard Statement(s)
  • Precautionary Statement(s):  Precautionary Statements describe recommended measures (including PPE) that should be taken to minimize or prevent adverse effects resulting from exposure to the hazardous chemical or improper storage or handling. 
    • There are four types of Precautionary Statements:
      • Prevention (guideline to minimize exposure; e.g., “Wear eye/face protection”)
      • Response (instructions in case of accidental spillage or exposure; emergency response; and first-aid)
      • Storage
      • Disposal

Containers that Do Not Need Labels
  • Immediate-Use Containers that are under the direct control of one individual do not need a label if:

    • You are the only person using it, AND
    • You do not leave the container unattended, AND
    • The container is emptied at the end of your work shift or research procedure (whichever time frame is shortest).
      • If you leave for lunch, or to attend/teach class, or even if nature calls, then the container must be labeled.
  • Reaction Vessels or other Similar Containers:
    • These must have a label/sign posted nearby that allows an observer to understand the container’s contents and hazards.

Secondary Chemical Containers (e.g., squirt bottle, non-original screw-top bottle, vials, flasks, etc.) must have a means of communicating (1) their contents and (2) the hazards of those contents, either on the container or in the area where the container is stored/used.

Use these methods to label your secondary chemical containers: