Proper OSHA Chemical Labeling for Compliance

By Steve Todisco, Senior Healthcare Account Manager

If you work in any field that pertains to hazardous waste management in any region of the United States, and also in any niche; you are bound by a few sets of rules. And by a few I mean a lot more than a few. Some of those rules are simple to follow and some of them are not. In the following paragraphs I am going to give you the keys to giving your hazardous waste program a good old compliance boost! (For those with a weak heart you might want to turn back now).

The proper labeling of chemicals in the form of labeling for hazardous and non-hazardous waste will take you very far in the world when it comes to being subjected to a full force inspection. Each state has it’s own special rules but you can boil it down to a few specific easy to follow items:

• The words hazardous waste

• Full chemical name with no chemical formulas or abbreviations

• Properly checked off hazard classes (Toxic, Ignitable, Corrosive, Reactive)

• A date when the container has been “deemed” full by its owner

Some states won’t require all of the above to be followed, but some states will (for a complete listing of what your state requires – Please go to your state specific website).

When it comes to non-hazardous waste the most important thing is that regulators know and understand visually that the waste in question is actually non-hazardous waste. With the simple creation of a label that states what the waste stream is and the words non-hazardous you can avoid questioning.

These are both state and federal requirements so make sure that your labeling your hazardous and non-hazardous waste appropriately because it accounts for a large percentage of violations that we see on a day to day basis. Simple training on this matter will help you avoid writing a large paycheck to your favorite regulatory institution.

As always if you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 339-226-0524.