Container Labels

Chemical Hygiene Plan 3.4, November 2018

All containers of hazardous chemicals must be labeled with the name of the chemical and the hazard(s), if not provided by the manufacturer. If a chemical has more than one hazard, it must be labeled with both hazards. For example, acetaldehyde is both a flammable and a carcinogen, and must be labeled appropriately. Additionally, the subsequent guidelines shall be followed

Labeling Basics

For containers labeled by the manufacturer:

  • Inspect the labeling on incoming containers.
  • Replace damaged or semi-attached labels.

For transferred products or prepared solutions labeled by the user:

  • Label each chemical container with the chemical name and hazard warning.
  • Refer to the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for hazard warning

Alternate Method for Labeling Multiple Small Containers

Legend Method

Label containers with abbreviated chemical name and a hazard warning.
  • Provide a key in a visible location in the lab with complete chemical name.
  • Document that employees are trained on the labeling system.

Box or Tray Method

Put containers in box or tray.

  • Label tray with chemical name and hazard warning
  • If containers are removed from the box/tray they must be properly labeled or
    returned to the box or tray within the work-shift.
  • Document that employees are trained on the labeling system

Labeling Peroxide Forming Chemicals

Peroxidizable chemicals are listed in APPENDIX G and must be labeled with:

  • Date Received
  • Date Opened
  • Date Tested
  • Test Results

Consumer Products

Anything available over the counter to the general public is exempt from labeling requirements if it has already been labeled by the manufacturer. This includes consumer products such as cans of spray paint or turpentine.

Stationary Containers

Stationary process containers such as tanks may be identified with signs, placards, process sheets, batch tickets or other written materials instead of actually affixing labels to process containers. The sign or placard must convey the same information that a label would and be visible to employees throughout the work shift.

Portable Containers

Portable containers into which hazardous chemicals are transferred from labeled containers and which are intended to be under the use and control of the person who transferred it, within the work shift in which it was transferred, are exempt from labeling. However, it is recommended that a temporary label identifying the chemical and its primary hazard be affixed to the container.

Refrigerators and Freezers: All refrigerator and freezer units used in laboratories must be marked as “SAFE FOR FLAMMABLE STORAGE” or “UNSAFE FOR FLAMMABLE STORAGE” on the exterior surface of the unit as appropriate. All cold rooms must be marked “UNSAFE FOR FLAMMABLE STORAGE”.

Additional Resources

Posting: Labeling Containers (PDF)