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How to be compliant: Chemical Labeling

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How to be compliant: Chemical Labeling

Are you overwhelmed by WHMIS and GHS policies and procedures? Are you worried you wouldn’t pass an OHS inspection if the Ministry of Labour (MOL) paid you a visit?

The MOL in Ontario has announced their next inspections will be regarding ‘Respiratory Hazards’. More specifically this includes the proper handling and storage of hazardous materials in the workplace.

At we have been to workplaces that think they may only have 300 hazardous products on hand when they end up having an inventory of 800+. On average, clients are LESS THAN 50% COMPLIANT when we perform a chemical audit. That is a frightening number when we consider all the negative side effects these hazardous materials can cause to us and our environment. Let’s look at a common mistake we often see in chemical storage and how you can take action!

Unreadable Labels

When you have a hazardous material with a label that is illegible it is no longer obvious to anyone what is inside the container.

Without knowing what the product is, that now means:

1. You are considered non-compliant

2. You can no longer search for the product’s SDS

3. Without the SDS you can now no longer determine:

  • What the product ingredients are
  • What the hazards of the product are
  • What the appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) is for safe usage
  • What to do in an emergency/first aid situation
  • The appropriate handling and storage
  • What to do in case of a spill/leak
  • If the product is reactive with another type of chemical
  • How to dispose of the product
  • How to transport the product

Decanting - When you decant a product from its original container remember to label the product appropriately in the new container.

The containers MUST be properly labelled using a ‘Workplace Safety Label’ containing specific information in accordance with WHMIS and GHS policies

Take a look around your workplace... is there a pail of cleaning product in the janitor's closet without a label? ...or a water bottle full of blue solution under the sink?... Checking for this common hazard in a chemical storage area can mean the difference of your workplace's compliance. More importantly, it can mean the difference of safety! Keeping your business compliant is no easy task. For assistance in chemical storage, SDS management, staff training, hazardous waste and so much more, contact us!


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