From power stations and industrial sites to the cleaning cupboards in our own homes, we are surrounded on a daily basis by substances which, if handled improperly, can be damaging to ourselves and our environment. It’s reassuring to know that there is extensive legislation in place to control the movement and storage of such materials, and the first line of defence are the mandatory Hazard Warning labels which must be displayed on the packaging of any product which contains them.
How well do you understand the Hazard Warning diamonds which appear on so many products we buy at the store, as well as those which appear on HGVs we see on our roads? These diamond shaped signs are GHS Hazard Warning Labels. GHS refers to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, a standard on which most national and international regulations are based. In their most basic form, these are black and white pictograms within a red diamond and are found on cleaning products and other retail goods. These simple Hazard stickers are aimed at consumers who are unlikely to be handling hazardous material in large quantities or high concentrations.
By contrast, when large quantities of dangerous substances are to be shipped in bulk, the potential for a serious incident is increased many fold. A second set of GHS Hazard Warning Diamond labels are specifically for transport situations, and are the same as those recommended in the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. This set of warning diamonds use colours and numerical codes to give additional information about the type of goods being carried. According to this convention:
- Orange represents explosive substances
- Red represents flammable substances
- Green represents compressed gas
- Blue represents substances which become flammable when exposed to water
- Yellow warning diamonds may denote oxidizing substances
- Black and white warning diamonds may denote toxic or corrosive substances
These colour codes provide at-a-glance information on the hazards associated with the cargo to industry professionals as well as groups such as emergency services in case of an incident. More information is immediately available by means of the numerical code found in the bottom corner of the Hazard Warning Diamond sticker, which may be understood as follows:
- Class 1: Explosives
- Class 2: Gases
- Classes 3 and 4: Flammable liquids and solids
- Class 5: Oxidizing substances
- Class 6: Poisonous and toxic substances
- Class 8: Corrosive substances
Each class is then further sub-divided to provide more specific information, and each of these codes results in a definition which dictates how the goods should be handled.
At Label Bar, we produce both types of Hazard Warning Diamond stickers, as well as just about any other type of label you could ever need. Keeping your workforce, your customers, and the general public safe is one of your top priorities, and you can demonstrate your commitment by making use of our comprehensive range of high-quality labels.