Today we re going to talk about understanding chemical labels. Each one of us works with chemicals, whether at work or at home. You need to know how

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1 Today we re going to talk about understanding chemical labels. Each one of us works with chemicals, whether at work or at home. You need to know how to determine their hazards to protect yourself against them. Chemical labeling is the first step in the process of using chemicals safely. Occupational Safety and Health Administration s (OSHA) chemical labeling requirements are part of its Hazard Communication Standard (HazCom), which is designed to ensure that you can identify and understand hazardous chemical substances in the workplace. HazCom, including chemical labeling, has been aligned with the Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). This training session focuses on the GHS chemical label. 1

2 The main objective of this session is to teach you to read and understand the information on the chemical label. By the end of the session, you should be able to: Identify a chemical using its label, Interpret the signal word on the label, Recognize the hazard symbol or pictogram, Interpret the label s hazard statement, and Know what precautions to take with the chemical. 2

3 Before we begin this session, let s take a few minutes to see how much you already know about the GHS and chemical labels. Decide whether each statement on the screen is TRUE or FALSE. Under GHS, OSHA will no longer regulate workplace hazardous chemicals. This is false. The GHS chemical label will help create a safer work environment for you and your co-workers. This is true. Precautionary statements are an important part of the GHS chemical label. This is true. The GHS chemical label is harder to understand than older chemical labels. This is false. How did you do? Did you get all the answers right? If not, don t worry. You ll learn all about these issues and a lot more during the session. 3

4 OSHA s hazard communication standard, or HazCom, requires us to tell you about hazards in the workplace. Two key ways we do that is with labels on chemical containers and safety data sheets, or SDSs (formerly called material safety data sheets, or MSDSs). Chemical labels and MSDSs have been an essential part of basic safety in the workplace for decades. But because of the global economy, a system is needed to standardize safety, health, and environmental information about substances so that people all over the world get the same hazard information. That system is called the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, or GHS. GHS itself is not a regulation or a standard. OSHA will implement the GHS system through its HazCom program and continue to regulate chemical safety in this country. The purpose of GHS is to provide a universal approach to defining hazards, classifying substances, and communicating hazard information and protective measures to employers and employees throughout the United States and the world. 4

5 When working with chemicals, the most important thing you can do is protect yourself. You have to know what you re using before you use any chemical know the physical and health hazards. Container labels will provide brief information on any hazards and the protective measures necessary to protect yourself. For detailed information about hazards and protective measures, check the SDS for the substance you are using. 5

6 All containers of hazardous chemicals supplied to the workplace must be labeled. The labels on containers delivered to your facility must be either kept intact or, if removed or damaged, immediately marked with the required information, which includes the product identifier and a combination of words, pictures, or symbols that provide at least general information about the chemical hazards and specific information regarding the physical and health hazards. Pipes or piping systems do not need to be labeled. Likewise, portable containers where the hazardous chemical is transferred from a labeled container for immediate use by the employee do not have to be labeled. 6

7 You will find the following information on chemical labels: Product identifier, Supplier identification, Signal word, Pictogram, Hazard statement, Precautionary statement, and Supplemental information. Let s take a look at each element in greater detail. 7

8 The chemical label must contain both a product identifier for the chemical and supplier identification information. The product identifier is the name or number that allows you to identify the chemical in the container. Supplier identification must include the name, address, and telephone number for the company supplying the chemical. 8

9 The chemical label will include one of two signal words that identify the relative severity of the hazard presented. The words alert you to a potential hazard. For example: Danger is the more serious of the signal words and indicates a higher level of hazard. Warning is less serious than danger and indicates a lower hazard level. 9

10 Hazard statements describe the nature of the hazard and, where appropriate, the degree of the hazard. The hazard statement can include information on fatal or toxic exposures, organ damage, and routes of exposure. For example, a hazard statement could say: Highly flammable liquid and vapor. May cause liver and kidney damage. 10

11 Precautionary statements describe recommended measures to be taken to minimize or prevent harmful effects from exposure to a chemical or improper storage or handling. Four types of precautionary statements appear on a chemical label. They are: Prevention. For example, Wash thoroughly after handling. Response. For example, If swallowed, immediately call a poison center. Storage. For example, Store locked up. Disposal. For example, Dispose of in accordance with local, regional, national, and international regulations as specified. 11

12 Pictograms include a black symbol and other graphic elements intended to convey specific information about the hazards of a chemical. The symbols appear on a white background framed within a diamondshaped box with a red border and are placed on the label based on a chemical s hazard classification. There are eight standardized hazard symbols used in pictograms, each of which conveys the specific hazard of the chemical, with an additional nonmandatory symbol. We ll cover each in detail in upcoming slides. 12

13 Supplemental information on the label includes any additional information or details provided by the manufacturer or supplier that is not required by law. This information can be required by other authorities or it can be additional information included by the manufacturer, importer, or distributor if they choose to do so. When included, supplemental information cannot be presented in a way that makes it harder to identify information required on the label by GHS. 13

14 Now let s try a TRUE or FALSE exercise to test your knowledge of the information presented in the previous slides. Precautionary statements describe recommended measures to minimize adverse effects of exposure or improper storage and/or handling. This is true. Supplier identification includes the name, address, and telephone number of the manufacturer, importer, or distributor. This is true. Warning is not a signal word. This is false. GHS is intended to standardize the information about hazard substances for people all over the world. This is true. How did you do? Were you able to identify all the true statements? 14

15 Now it s time to ask yourself if you understand the information about chemical labels that has been presented so far. Do you understand what we ve said about: Why the course is important? What GHS is? The importance of understanding a chemical s hazards before using it? The different elements on a chemical label? Signal words, hazard statements, pictograms, and precautionary statements? It s important to understand all this information so that you can take proper precautions to protect yourself from chemical hazards. Let s move on now and talk about the specific pictograms that appear on chemical labels. 15

16 This is the health-hazard pictogram. It is put on a chemical label when a substance presents the following health hazards: Carcinogen may cause cancer Respiratory sensitizer may cause respiratory irritation Reproductive toxicity may damage fertility or the unborn child Target organ toxicity may cause damage to bodily organs Mutagenicity may cause genetic defects Aspiration toxicity may be fatal if swallowed and it enters the airways 16

17 This is the flame pictogram. It appears on chemical labels for substances that are: Flammables which are gases, aerosols, liquids, or solids that will burn or ignite under certain conditions, Self-Reactives heating alone, without air, may cause fire or explosion, Pyrophorics in small amounts, may ignite within 5 minutes after contact with air, Self-Heating which may catch fire only in large amounts and after long periods of time when exposed to air, Emitters of flammable gas, and Organic peroxides which, when heated, may cause fire or explosion; may be sensitive to impact or friction; and may react dangerously with other chemicals. 17

18 This is the exclamation mark pictogram. It is used on a chemical label for substances that represent the following hazards: Irritant irritates the skin or eyes; Skin sensitizer which is an allergic response following skin contact; Acute toxicity which may be fatal or cause organ damage from a single short-term exposure; Narcotic effects like drowsiness, lack of coordination, and dizziness; and Respiratory tract irritation. 18

19 This is the gas cylinder pictogram. When you see this pictogram on a chemical label, it means that the substance is a compressed, liquefied, or dissolved gas under pressure at 29 pounds per square inch or more. Next is the flame-over-circle pictogram. When you see this symbol on a chemical label, it means that the substance is an oxidizer. Oxidizers may cause a fire by increasing the concentration of oxygen in the air. 19

20 This is the corrosion pictogram. This pictogram on a chemical label means that the substance causes skin burns, eye damage, or destroys metals. Next is the skull and crossbones pictogram symbol. Substances with a hazard of acute toxicity will have this symbol on their chemical label. Acute toxicity means that exposure to a single dose of the chemical may be toxic or fatal if inhaled or swallowed, or if it comes into contact with the skin. 20

21 The exploding bomb pictogram appears on the chemical labels of substances that are: Explosives which is a solid or liquid chemical capable of a chemical reaction that causes damage to the surroundings, Self-Reactive heating may cause fire or explosion without the need for air, or Organic peroxides again, heating may cause fire or explosion. 21

22 This is the pictogram for Environment. If you see it, the hazard the chemical presents is aquatic toxicity. 22

23 You may see labels on chemical containers in your work area that are slightly different from the original container label used to ship it to your workplace. The alternative labels are OK to use as long as they display all the same information shown on the label from the original shipped container. Alternative labels you might run across are: The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) hazard rating label; and Hazardous Materials Information System, or HMIS, label. 23

24 Now let s try a matching exercise to test your knowledge of the information presented in the previous slides. See if you can match the pictogram to the hazard it represents: The skull and crossbones represent an acute toxicity hazard. The exclamation point represents an irritant hazard. The flame symbol represents a flammability hazard. The health symbol represents a reproductive hazard, among other things. The environment symbol represents an aquatic hazard. The cylinder symbol represents a gas under pressure hazard. The flame over circle symbol represents an oxidizer hazard. How did you do? Were you able to get all the right matches? 24

25 Let s take a moment now to review and make sure you understand the information presented in the previous slides. Do you understand what we ve said about: The different pictograms and the hazards they represent? Labeling requirements in our facility? Exceptions to the labeling requirements? Alternative labeling systems? It s important to understand all this information so that you can work safely with hazardous chemicals. 25

26 Here are the main points to remember about this training session on chemical labels: The GHS chemical label is designed to keep you safer by standardizing the information presented about a hazardous chemical. Chemical labels provide brief information on the physical and health hazards presented by a chemical. Each component of a chemical label gives different information on how to protect yourself and your co-workers. Pictograms graphically describe the hazards of a chemical class. With few exceptions, hazardous chemical containers in your workplace must be labeled. Alternative labeling systems must be compliant with GHS information requirements. This concludes the training session on Understanding Chemical Labels Under GHS. 26

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