Revised Chemical Labels: New Hazard Communications on the Horizon
Posted: July 12, 2012
In addition to the previously required signal words (DANGER, WARNING and CAUTION) and appropriate hazard statements, new chemical labels will be required to have pictograms representing distinct human health hazards, such as carcinogenicity, mutagenicity (genetic mutation) and reproductive toxicity.
While the “skull and crossbones” pictogram (see Image A) has been used for decades on chemical labels indicating DANGER or DANGER-POISON and is probably the most familiar of older pictograms, the Exclamation Mark version (see Image B) is very important to farmers and agriculturists. It indicates exposure hazards on farms and ranches that are common health problems, including skin and eye irritants, skin sensitizers, and respiratory tract irritants.
Other chemical label pictograms that you will most likely find in the future on farm products will be:
- Flame (Image C)
- Gas Cylinder (Image D)
- Corrosion (Image E)
Although the June 1, 2015 deadline for the new pictograms on chemical labels seems far away, OSHA is requiring employee training on the new label requirements by the end of next year—2013.
Creating a higher level of awareness and knowledge among agricultural workers about chemical labels is a good intervention strategy. OSHA resources are available to help agricultural employers bring their workers up to speed on the meaning of these new pictograms.
For More Information, visit OSHA