Top Five Reasons to Make Sure You Have Workplace Safety Labels

Safety and biohazard labels play an important role in preventing accidents. Whether you work in a medical lab or an industrial setting, it's essential to have all items properly labeled. The following guide explores five of the top reasons you must have workplace safety labels and GHS Pictograms.

1) Accidents Can Happen

All chemicals come with material safety data sheets (MSDS). These sheets provide details on some of the hazards associated with chemicals. These can range from burn risks to ingestion risks. If you don't properly label and use GHS Pictograms for all the chemicals in your workspace, you can potentially expose coworkers to a dangerous substance. This isn't limited to chemicals, however. It also includes biological waste such as needles, stool samples, and items that have come into contact with blood.

2) Product Mixups

If items aren't properly labeled, coworkers may mistake one item for another. In a lab environment, this can be deadly. For example, mixing some types of chemicals, such as an acidic and basic chemical, can result in an explosion. Other types of chemicals can burn through glassware if placed in the wrong type of container. To avoid these types of risks, it's essential to make sure everything is labeled at all times.

3) Legal Liability

If a worker or member of the public is injured due to negligence at your facility, your company may be open to legal liability. A lawsuit can cost a company millions of dollars, depending on the severity of an individual's injuries. To avoid liability, always make sure that your labeling is compliant with all regulations.

4) Staff Turnover

If you work in a lab or industrial environment with high levels of turnover, the staff in an office could change on a monthly basis. If staff turnover is very high, it's important to remember that workers may not be familiar with the environment in which they work. It's likely that they'll have to learn through observation. If lots of items in a lab or industrial environment aren't properly labeled, the odds of an accident increase significantly.

5) Government Regulations

OSHA regulates all workplace safety issues in the United States. Failure to label hazardous chemicals is a severe violation of workplace safety laws. If a company is found to be in violation of these rules, they may face a significant fine.

OSHA only applies to federal regulations, however. There may be additional sets of regulations that are imposed on the state level. For example, California has very strict regulations regarding formaldehyde, which is found in many products. Products that carry any risk at all must be properly labeled to eliminate the risk of state liability. If your company engages in intrastate commerce, it's essential to comply with regulations for the most stringent state where you do business.