Environmental Health & Safety Compliance Blog

Why do I need to label my drums / stock materials / waste?

Posted by Rebecca McDaniel on Nov 4, 2009 12:48:00 PM

By Melissa Iozzo, Technical Specialist

“I know what’s in there!”, “it’s just water!”, “The transporter can label the stuff”.

Sound familiar? Take a walk around your lab or manufacturing floor. You run a tight ship; you have neatly filed folders filled with POs and receipts for materials going for use in all aspects of your business. You know who’s using what, where, when, how much, and at what point you are going to need to order more. So why do you have to label all this stuff!

I’ll tell you – because I don’t know what’s in them, and neither does the EPA, OSHA, the fire department, or any other agency that regularity audits facilities just like yours! It’s called hazard communication – and it’s at the top of the list when talking about safety.

Fines for unlabeled container run high across the board – and they sure can add up; especially if you are being audited by multiple facilities. Furthermore, the EPA and the fire department don’t discriminate – regardless of if you have water, piranha etch, oil, or hydrofluoric acid in that bottle on the sink. 100 mls of 2 gallons – if it’s not labeled, then you aren’t taking necessary measures to keep your employees, visitors, and contractors aware – and that is a safety violation.

Even scarier than fines is the safety of your people – you don’t want to be responsible for a spill, or even worse, an exposure in your facility when you don’t know what the chemical involved in was due to having new labels available! On top of that, if this stuff ends up out on the roads missing the proper labeling and markings, you get a whole new set of agencies and fines to deal with!

Luckily – though it may seem at a tedious task at first, labeling is quick, easy, and can sure save you a lot of time, money, and overall pain in the end – especially if you keep up with it. Triumvirate can help. We can profile your waste streams and stock materials and print out reusable labels for just about anything – so you have to do pretty much nothing!

Tags: EPA, Triumvirate Environmental, OSHA, Safety