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PARAGRAPH (f) - LABELS AND OTHER FORMS OF WARNING (f)-1
Requirements for Suppliers - (f)(1)
Solid Metal, Wood or Plastic Items In Transit - (f)(2)
Overlap with DOT Requirements - (f)(3)
OSHA Substance Specific Health Standards - (f)(4)
In-House Labeling Requirements - (f)(5)
        Hazard Warnings, Supplementing Labels - (f)(5)(ii)
        Target Organ Effects on In-Plant Labels (f)(5)-8
Stationary Process Containers - (f)(6)
Portable Transfer Containers - (f)(7)
Label Retention - (f)(8)
Labeling in English - (f)(9)
New Findings - (f)(11)

PARAGRAPH (f) - LABELS AND OTHER FORMS OF WARNING

In the February 9, 1994, Amendments to the Final Hazard Communication Rule, paragraphs (f)(2), (f)(5)(ii), and (f)(7) have been modified. A new section, paragraph (f)(11), has been added. Please refer to the corresponding sections of this document, where the new wording is shown.

Labeling requirements for manufacturers and distributors of copper chromated arsenate (CCA) pressure-treated wood

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)

The HCS does not require manufacturers to obtain prior OSHA approval of their product labeling. Likewise, it is not the responsibility of OSHA to evaluate the consumer information sheet for CCA [(chromated copper arsenate)] pressure-treated wood. Further, OSHA's evaluation of the proposed label for CCA pressure-treated wood would compromise the responsibility of the manufacturer to complete all hazard determinations for this product. Under the HCS, the manufacturers of CCA pressure-treated lumber are responsible for chemical hazard information (Material Safety Data Sheets, labels, etc.) to be transmitted to downstream employers [(29 CFR 1910.1200(b)(1))].

...[If a] hazard evaluation for CCA pressure-treated lumber has not been completed[,]...[then a] proposed label for CCA pressure-treated wood may not provide employees with the appropriate hazard warning information. For example, any chemical additives present in the wood which represent a health hazard must be included on the MSDSs and/or label as appropriate.

letter: MSessa 08-31-94

Standardizing label requirements

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)

...[S]tandardizing labeling requirements ... was an issue that was raised for comment by OSHA in the 1990 request for comments and information, and there was support for pursuing this .... However [for example], listing personal protective equipment to be used in a myriad of workplace exposure situations may not be possible to accomplish. While labels appear to be a simple way to provide information, there is often little agreement on just what information should be provided and in what form.

OSHA is actively participating in international efforts to harmonize requirements for hazard classification, as well as labels and material safety data sheets (MSDSs). Consideration of progress in this area is also being factored into our decisions regarding further regulatory action.

letter: RLugar 06-26-92 Congress

Hazard labels for products containing crystalline silica

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)

Under the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), appropriate hazard warning labels are required for materials containing 0.1 [or greater] percent crystalline silica by weight or volume which have anticipated downstream uses where crystalline silica may become airborne and present an inhalation hazard to employees working with that material. This is due to the fact that oftentimes free silica particles of respirable size are created in the processes (sand blasting, grinding, etc.) utilizing silica particles which initially may be too large to be classified as respirable.

If OSHA were to find worker exposures to crystalline silica in a workplace and the product from which the exposure resulted was not labeled in accordance with the requirements of the HCS, a violation of 1910.1200 would be alleged. For all practical purposes, therefore, the requirements of the HCS to provide an appropriate warning label, apply to products containing greater than 0.1 percent crystalline silica or total quartz by weight or volume, as determined by analysis of a bulk sample of the original product.

If the manufacturer has objective evidence to indicate that exposures to respirable silica would not occur when the product is used then this may be factored into the determination of an appropriate hazard warning. For example, we are aware that manufacturers of wallboard products that contain crystalline silica have taken numerous measurements during use of their products, and no respirable crystalline silica was detected. They have decided not to label based on this evidence.

letter: ELapp 02-11-91

Labeling when there is no container defined

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)

The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires labeling of containers of hazardous substances. OSHA has always interpreted the standard to not be applicable where there is no container. A room or open area such as a beach are not considered to be "containers" and would not, indeed could not, be labeled.

[Originally written about crushed stone and crystalline silicate]

letter: RBartlett 05-16-90

Predicted downstream exposure: ANSI labeling standard vs. HCS.

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)

OSHA staff met with [American National Standards Institute] (ANSI) representatives during the development of the ANSI labeling guidelines. At that time, we discussed the implications of the language regarding exposure assessments, and also discussed our concerns that this approach was not consistent with the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). Our understanding, based on those meetings, is that the ANSI committee members believe the differences between the ANSI standard and the HCS are merely semantic in nature, and not substantive. They believe that a label properly prepared in accordance with the ANSI guidance will meet OSHA's requirements as stated herein. We appreciate their efforts in developing the ANSI labeling standard, which we believe serves as a beneficial tool to employers trying to comply with the requirements of the Hazard Communication Standard. However, employers must continue to ensure that their hazard determinations are based on the requirements of the HCS itself, using the ANSI standard or other such documents as supplementary information and guidance.

The weight of the evidence for each hazard reported on the material safety data sheet (MSDS) is to be considered when determining if the hazard needs to be included on the label, not the predicted downstream exposure amounts. Of course, the hazardous chemical must be present in such a manner that it is available for exposure, i.e., if the hazardous chemical is an ingredient in a mixture, and the chemical is bound in such a manner that it is incapable of resulting in exposure, then information on its potential health effects would not have to be included on either the MSDS or the label.

[Originally written for the chemical manufacturing industry]

letter: CClark 03-20-90

Comparing the information requirements of the MSDS and the label

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)

Under the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), the purpose of the label is to provide an immediate hazard warning to employees using hazardous chemicals. The label and material safety data sheet (MSDS) must contain the identical name, enabling them to easily be cross-referenced with each other. It is the purpose of the MSDS to contain much more detailed information about the chemical, including "remedies" for first aid situations.... Including too much information on the label defeats the purpose of the intent of the labeling requirement to provide immediate hazard warning.

letter: JDanforth 02-07-90 Congress

Labeling requirements for fuels used in fleets

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)

Diesel exhaust emissions per se are not covered by the HCS. Diesel fuel however is covered by the HCS and any known hazards associated with this fuel must be reported on the material safety data sheet, including the hazards associated with the combustion of the fuel.

All employers are required to develop and implement employee training programs regarding hazards of chemicals and protective measures for all employees exposed to hazardous chemicals in their work areas under normal operating conditions or in foreseeable emergencies. Employees in terminal operations exposed to hazardous chemicals would fall under these provisions. If employees in terminal operations are exposed to diesel fuel in their work areas, the hazards of diesel fuel must be incorporated in the training program. Trucks or other vehicles are not considered work areas for the purposes of the standard. Vehicle operators would not be covered while operating a motor vehicle, however operators would be covered while performing terminal operations.

The chemical manufacturer, importer, or distributor is responsible for labeling containers of diesel fuel. Employers are required to ensure that all containers of hazardous chemicals in the workplace are labeled. Engines, fuel tanks or other operating systems in a vehicle are not considered to be containers for purpose of the HCS and would require labeling.

Manufacturers and importers of diesel fuel are responsible for performing the hazard determination and transmitting the hazard information of diesel fuel to their downstream customers. Employers are not required to evaluate chemicals unless they choose not to rely on the evaluation performed by the chemical manufacturer or importer for the chemical.

Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to provide appropriate MSDS with their initial shipment and with the first shipment after a sheet has been updated. If the MSDS is not provided prior to or with the shipment, it is recommended that the employer write to both the supplier and the product manufacturer to request MSDS as soon as possible. Should the employer fail to receive the requested information, the nearest OSHA Area Office should be contacted for assistance in this matter.

letter: ASchaeffer 12-22-88

Placement and visibility of labels

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)

Your letter raises questions about the visibility of labels on shipments of palletized bags. The purpose of a label is to provide an immediate visual warning to employees before a potential exposure to the product's contents occur. Additionally the label identity serves as a point of cross reference with the material safety data sheet.

The standard's intent is met as long as the placement of the label permits it to be seen before employees are potentially exposed to the hazardous chemical. If for instance the product is flammable or shock sensitive then the label warnings must be visible before handling, so that special care if necessary, can be taken. On the other hand, for a product that only presents a toxicity hazard when a bag is opened then a label that is visible when the bag is readied for opening is acceptable. As you can see proper placement of labels is dependent on a product characteristics and the ways and means employees may be exposed to them. Labeling therefore must be considered on a case by case basis. Obviously however, the more visible a label the better the chance that it will he effective.

letter: FKarasinski 07-02-86

Labeling requirements for scrap dealers

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)

Scrap dealers do not have to develop or transmit labels and material safety data sheets for scrap collected from non-manufacturers who do not supply such information materials and who are not required by the HCS to do so. Distributors, such as scrap dealers, generally are not required to create their own hazard communication materials; they must only pass on those labels and material safety data sheets they do receive to [downstream employers].

letter: EMerrigan 05-23-86

Requirements for Suppliers - (f)(1)

OSHA and Department of Transportation (DOT) Requirements for Labeling of shipping containers are discussed under Subparagraph (f)(3).

Labeling responsibilities for firms servicing fire extinguishers

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)

In the cases where [a firm servicing fire extinguishers is] acting as a distributor of hazardous extinguishing chemicals or charging [a fire extinguisher] cylinder and creating a compressed gas hazard, [the firm is] responsible for ensuring that the extinguishers are labeled in accordance with paragraph (f)(1) of the HCS. In those instances where [the firm's] services do not involve adding or supplying a hazardous chemical to the extinguisher or charging the cylinder, [the] firm would not be considered a distributor and consequently would not be responsible for the labeling of the extinguisher. However, under 1910.1200(f)(8), as an employer, [the firm is] prohibited from removing or defacing existing labels on incoming containers of hazardous chemicals, unless the container is immediately marked with the information required under the standard. In addition, for those fire extinguishers that must be marked or labeled in accordance with DOT's Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR Parts 171 through 180), OSHA's newly promulgated Final Rule Governing Retention of DOT Markings, Placards, and Labels (29 CFR 1910.1201) requires that employers retain the required DOT markings, labels, and placards on the extinguishers until the extinguishers are cleaned and purged of any potential hazards.

letter: CTrafelet 03-15-95

Alternative labeling methods for bales of slag wool

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)

Your letter requested clarification on the labeling requirements of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), 29 CFR 1910.1200. You indicated that a label is currently attached to bales of your slag wool, and this has caused problems when your customers process the slag wool. They have reported that the labels become "entrained" in the final product.

The proposed alternative labeling method described in your letter is satisfactory and meets the intent of the standard. You proposed to:

1. Utilize signs in the facility to convey the information to our employees;

2. Post signs conveying information inside the rail cars which are used to ship these bales;

3. Transmit a label and a material safety data sheet with each shipment;

4. Post a sign in areas where bales are accumulated and consumed.

The alternative means of providing a hazard warning that you propose to implement is appropriate because bales do not meet the definition of a container. Even though the twine or wire that secure the bales are not containers as defined under the standard, and do not lend themselves to standard labeling methods, chemical hazards must still be conveyed.

letter: CJones 04-01-93

Existing hazard determination studies on fiber glass

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)

The existence of positive human evidence, based on one valid study conducted in accordance with established scientific principles indicating carcinogenic effects in humans triggers the requirement that the label contain an appropriate carcinogen hazard warning. It is the responsibility of the chemical manufacturer or importer of a product to identify and evaluate all relevant scientific data when conducting a hazard determination.

A review of the available scientific literature for health effects associated with exposure to fibrous glass products was conducted by our Directorate of Health Standards Programs. Several epidemiological studies of fibrous glass production workers were found which showed a statistically significant increase in respiratory tract cancer. Therefore, appropriate hazard warnings on fibrous glass products would have to indicate that fibrous glass may cause lung cancer in humans.

.... If, upon inspection, an OSHA Compliance Officer becomes aware of incorrectly labeled fibrous glass products being used in the workplace, according to OSHA referral procedures, the chemical manufacturer will be contacted and asked to correct the hazard.

letter: RMunson 05-06-91

see also: DCross 10-18-91

The abatement of incorrect labels

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)

If, upon inspection, an OSHA Compliance Officer becomes aware of incorrectly labeled ... products being used in the workplace, according to OSHA referral procedures, the chemical manufacturer will be contacted and asked to correct the hazard. Referral procedures for the abatement of incorrect labels are set forth in section K.7.a.(7) of the [CPL 2-2.38C] OSHA Instruction for your information and reference.

[Originally written about fibrous glass products]

letter: RMunson 05-06-91

The purpose of the label under the HCS

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)

The purpose for labels under the standard is clear. Labels provide an immediate warning to employees of the hazards they may be exposed to and, through the chemical identity, labels provide a link to more detailed information available through material safety data sheets (MSDSs) and other sources. Labels must contain the identity of the chemical, an appropriate hazard warning, and the name and address of the responsible party.

OSHA recognizes that the degree of detail on a label needed to convey a hazard may be different within a workplace where other information is readily available, compared to labels required on shipped containers, where the label may be the only information available.

CPL 2-2.38C: A-18 10-22-90

Shipping label to include specific hazard warnings such as target organ effects

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)

However, for shipped containers the hazard warning must be included on the label and must specifically convey the hazards of the chemical. OSHA has consistently maintained that this includes target organ effects. Casarett and Doull's Toxicology, the Basic Science of Poisons discusses target organs:

Most chemicals that produce systemic toxicity do not cause a similar degree of toxicity in all organs but usually produce the major toxicity to one or two organs. These are referred to as target organs of toxicity for that chemical.

Appendix A of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) clearly states that employees exposed to health hazards must be apprised of both changes in body functions and the signs and symptoms that may occur to signal the changes. A label incorporating a rating system is not permitted for shipped containers unless additional label information is affixed to the container. The specific hazards indicated in the standard's definitions for "physical" and "health" hazards are applicable. Phrases such as "caution", "danger", or "harmful if inhaled", are precautionary statements, not hazard warnings. The definition of "hazard warning" states that the warning must convey the hazards of the chemical and is intended to include the target organ effects. If, when inhaled, the chemical causes lung damage, then that is the appropriate warning. Lung damage is the hazard, not inhalation.

There are some situations where the specific target organ effect is not known. Where this is the case, the more general warning statement would be permitted. For example, if the only information available is an LC5O test result, "harmful if inhaled" may be appropriate.

CPL 2-2.38C: A-19&20 10-22-90

Exposure calculations not permitted in hazard determination

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)

Exposure calculations are not permitted in determining whether a hazard must appear on a label. If there is a potential for exposure other than in minute, trace or very small quantities, the hazard must be included when substantiated as required by the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). Suppliers may not exclude hazards based on presumed levels of exposure downstream (i.e., omitting a carcinogenic hazard warning because, in the supplier's estimate, presumed exposures will not be high enough to cause the effect). The hazard is an intrinsic property of the chemical. Exposure determines degree of risk and should be addressed in training programs by the downstream employer.

CPL 2-2.38C: A-21&22 10-22-90

Labeling requirements for shipping containers

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)

The labeling requirements for shipped containers leaving the workplace apply regardless of whether the intended destination is interstate or intrastate. If the shipment is to another establishment, even within the same company, the shipped labeling provisions apply. Even sealed containers intended for export must comply with the labeling provisions if these containers leave the workplace and if downstream employees such as dock workers may be exposed to the hazardous chemical(s).

Containers must be labeled as soon as practicable before leaving the workplace. If the container is a tank truck, rail car, or other vehicle carrying a hazardous chemical(s) not already in a labeled container(s), the appropriate label or label information may either be posted on the tank or vehicle, or attached to the accompanying shipping papers or bill of lading. Employers purchasing hazardous chemicals must ensure that their employees are aware of the label warning before potential exposure to incoming chemicals occur. A label may not be shipped separately, even if it is prior to shipment of the hazardous chemical since to do so defeats the intended purpose which is to provide an immediate hazard warning. Mailing labels directly to purchasers will bypass those employees involved in transporting the hazardous chemical. (Note the exception in (f)(2) for solid metals. Containers of solid metals not otherwise meeting the definition of an article need to be labeled only with the initial shipment (unless the information on the label changes).)

CPL 2-2.38C: A-22 10-22-90

IARC classifications and MSDS/labelling requirements

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)

IARC [International Agency for Research on Cancer] evaluates chemicals, manufacturing processes, and occupational exposures as to their carcinogenic potential. The IARC criteria for judging the adequacy of available data and for evaluating carcinogenic risk to humans were established in 1971 (Volumes 1-16) and revised in 1977 (Volumes 17 and following).

The individual monographs contain evaluations on specific chemicals or processes. At the conclusion of each evaluation, IARC provides a summary evaluation for the individual chemical. Periodically, IARC publishes Supplements in which chemicals that have already been evaluated in previous monographs are reevaluated. In cases where a chemical has been reevaluated, the most recent IARC evaluation shall be relied upon.

IARC provides a summary in Supplement 7 [1987] of the chemicals which have been evaluated in Volumes 1-42. Table I of Supplement 7 provides a summary evaluation of all chemicals for which human and animal data were considered. Table I of Supplement 7 also provides a summary classification of a chemical's carcinogenic risk:

Group 1 - The agent is carcinogenic to humans.

Group 2A - The agent is probably carcinogenic to humans.

Group 2B - The agent is possibly carcinogenic to humans.

Group 3 - The agent is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans.

Group 4 - The agent is probably not carcinogenic to humans.

All IARC listed chemicals in Groups 1 and 2A must include appropriate entries on both the material safety data sheet (MSDS) and on the label. Group 2B chemicals need be noted only on the MSDSs.

Individual monographs have been published subsequent to Supplement 7. For purposes of compliance with the MSDSs and labeling requirements, the IARC monograph's summary evaluation for the chemical can generally be relied upon but it may be necessary to review the actual evaluations. In some cases, a group of compounds may be listed in the summary as carcinogenic but closer examination of the appropriate monograph will reveal that IARC had data to support the carcinogenicity of only certain compounds. Those compounds are the only ones covered by the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). IARC also evaluates specific industrial processes or occupations for evidence of increased carcinogenicity. Findings that an occupation is at increased risk of carcinogenicity, without identification of specific causative agents, do not affect label or MSDSs requirements.

In addition, the existence of one valid, positive study indicating carcinogenic potential in either animals or humans is sufficient basis for a notation on the MSDSs. Further, if such studies include positive human evidence, then the label must contain carcinogen hazard warnings.

CPL 2-2.38C: A-25&26 10-22-90

see also: AMack 02-03-94

Guidance for label notations of carcinogens

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)

Table 1, on the following page, represents a general guide regarding the labeling and material safety data sheet (MSDS) requirements under the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The existence of positive human evidence on carcinogenicity always requires carcinogen warnings on the label. In addition, there may be instances where a carcinogen warning may be required for a chemical that is not listed by IARC [International Agency for Research on Cancer] or NTP [National Toxicology Program] but multiple animal studies indicate carcinogenicity. Such cases shall be reviewed by the Regional Administrator and coordinated by the Directors of Compliance and Health Standards Programs.

GUIDANCE FOR MSDS AND LABEL NOTATIONS FOR CARCINOGENS

Source MSDS Label
Regulated by OSHA as a carcinogen X X
Listed on NTP Carcinogen Report X X
IARC--Group 1 X X
IARC--Group 2A X X
IARC--Group 2B X Not Required
IARC--Group 3 Not Required Not Required
IARC--Group 4 Not Required Not Required
One Positive Study-Animal Only X Not Required
Multiple Animal Studies X Depends on weight of evidence; N.O. review needed.
One Positive Study- Some Human Evidence X X

Given the criteria in Table 1, [a chemical], which is regulated by OSHA as a carcinogen and for which several valid, positive human studies exist, would require both MSDSs and label notations whereas a substance for which only some animal data exist does not. Polyvinyl resin must be labeled as a carcinogen but final molded and extruded products do not need to be ... . (See also the discussion on IARC's determination on the carcinogenicity of "Alcohol Drinking," IARC Monograph No. 44, as it pertains to labeling requirements (CPL 2- 2.38C page A-15).)

CPL 2-2.38C: A-26&27 10-22-90

Labeling of fabricated products

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)

Following the [hazard] determination, the fabricator is responsible for formulating his or her own label specific to the fabricated product. The manufacturer of the fabricated product must consider anticipated downstream exposure potentials under normal conditions of use of the product and include appropriate hazard information on the product's accompanying label.

You can not, however, place multiple labels on your product. The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires the name and address of the manufacturer to be on the label of the product. As the manufacturer or fabricator of the "value-added" product ..., your name and address must appear on the label. One label, therefore, is necessary for each of the products you manufacture, even though more than one material safety data sheet (MSDS) may be combined to serve as the MSDS information for the product. The identity of the product on the combined MSDS must be the same as on the label to allow employees to access the appropriate material safety data sheet.

[Originally written for the insulation industry]

letter: RTripp 07-23-90

Labeling requirements of an importer

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)

OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires that chemical manufacturers and importers assess the hazards of the chemical(s) and products they sell. Under the HCS, manufacturers or importers of chemicals or materials that may create a hazardous exposure during their use are to provide hazard information through warning labels affixed to all containers of their products and through the provision of material safety data sheets (MSDSs) to all downstream recipients or users of their products. The labels must include the identities of the chemical hazardous substance(s), appropriate hazard warnings and the name and address of the manufacturer, importer or responsible party. Chemical distributors must also adhere to the labeling requirements of the standard, and must ensure that MSDSs are provided to employees.

letter: VMassi 06-14-90

Labeling requirements for carcinogen concentrations at 0.1%

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)

It is the Agency's policy that hazard warnings must appear on the material safety data sheet (MSDS) and the label of a chemical product when a carcinogenic substance is present in amounts [of] 0.1%. [or greater] Exposure calculations are not permitted in determining whether a hazard must appear on a label in that if there is a potential for exposure (other than in minute trace, or very small quantities), the hazard must be included. Additionally, suppliers may not exclude hazards based on presumed levels of exposure downstream (i.e., omitting a carcinogenic hazard warning because, in their estimate, presumed exposures will not be high enough to cause the effect).

... The purpose of the label is to serve as an immediate hazard warning of the health or physical hazard(s) that employees may be exposed to while working with the chemical. With this information, employees can take the proper precautionary measures necessary to protect themselves from exposure. Labels also provide a link to the more detailed information available on the MSDS. However, just because a hazard is detailed on the MSDS does not mean that information does not have to appear as a warning on the label.

[Originally written about calcium silicate]

letter: MMichaelson 04-03-90

Court upholds OSHRC's interpretation of labeling requirements

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)

The U.S. Court of Appeals ... upheld OSHA's interpretation of the labeling requirements of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS)... against [the Company] for failing to label containers of [the substance] with information about health hazards associated with over-exposure to [the substance] dust. [The Company] stipulated that the [substances] are "hazardous chemicals" within the meaning of the standard, but argued that it would be unreasonable to require labeling in this case because the amount of [the substance] dust released ... did not endanger the health of employees.

The court concluded that the standard requires labeling based on the intrinsic properties of hazardous chemicals, not on predictions about the level of risk experienced by particular employees. "[U]nder the definition given in the HCS, an identification of a substance as a hazardous chemical does not depend upon the product's anticipated use at any particular worksite. A substance (e.g., [the substances]) either is or is not a hazardous chemical; the HCS definition cannot be read to indicate that a substance could be a hazardous chemical in some concentrations but not in others.

The court also ruled that (1) because they release more than a "few molecules" of [the substances], the [items] were not "articles" exempt from coverage, and (2) the violation could not be characterized as de minimis, because such a characterization would be inconsistent with the premise of the standard, that "as a general matter, providing workers with comprehensive information regarding possible workplace dangers bears a direct and immediate relationship to safety and health."

[Originally written about copper and graphite brushes]

court: General Carbon v. OSHRC, Docket No. 860 F.2d 479, 1988

In-plant hazard warning labels may not be suitable as shipping labels

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)

The standard's preamble recognizes the existence of the numerous labeling systems that are currently in use in industry. The intent of the standard is to permit the use of these systems as long as the employer's entire Hazard Communication Program (HCP) is effective. In assessing an employer's compliance with the standard, an OSHA compliance officer will evaluate the effectiveness of the employer's inplant labeling system through a review of the employer's material safety data sheets and training program. An effective program would be one that ensures that employees are aware of the hazardous effects of the chemicals they may be exposed to as well as meeting the other basic requirements of the standard. Hazard warnings used as part of inplant labeling systems, in combination with the HCP, are deemed to be effective when they promote safe handling and use of hazardous chemicals in the workplace.

From the label decal enclosed with your letter it appears that the chemical identity and health hazard warnings appear, in addition to a numerical hazard rating system. As long as the hazard warnings and/or ratings are correctly selected it appears your labeling system would meet the inplant labeling requirements of the Hazard Communication Standard. Please note that for shipped containers your labeling system could not rely on a numerical rating system and would have to be supplemented with the appropriate hazard warning(s) in a narrative form and include the target organ effect as well as the physical hazards of the chemicals.

In addition, if containers of hazardous chemicals are shipped, the name and address of the chemical manufacturer, importer, or other responsible party must also appear on the label.

letter: PKelly 05-04-87

Uniform protocol for target organ effects labeling inappropriate for all industries

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)

OSHA has consistently adhered to the basic principle in its compliance instructions that target organ labeling constitutes "appropriate" hazard warning for shipped containers. In expressing this principle, both formally and informally, since the promulgation of the HCS, OSHA believes that the balance between adequate enforcement guidance and maintenance of the performance nature of the standard has been preserved.

I do not believe that attempting to provide a specific uniform protocol for determining the precise circumstances under which target organ effects should be placed on a label would be in keeping with OSHA's approach to implementing the standard. I therefore must deny your request for... OSHA to develop specific guidelines [applicable to all industries].

However, I am encouraged that your organization is working with ANSI [American National Standards Institute] in order to develop guidelines that will assist employers [in your particular industry] in determining when target organ labeling would be appropriate. OSHA would be pleased to review and comment on any draft protocol you may develop. It is this kind of industry initiative that the HCS was designed to inspire. Where industry takes the initiative to assist employers in their compliance efforts, OSHA will eagerly lend whatever support it can.

letter: LThomas 10-15-86

Use of American National Standard Institute label formats

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)(ii)

...[R]egarding [the] use of the label and MSDS formats in standards put forth by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)[,] [t]he warning statement..."warning causes irritation" would not meet the requirements of the HCS. OSHA requires labels for containers leaving the workplace to contain appropriate hazard warnings (including target organ effects), and that these hazard warnings be based on the inherent hazards of the product.

letter: EBernard 08-31-94

Requirements for duplicating MSDS hazard warning language on labels

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)(ii)

Question: Must label warning language match the MSDS warning language exactly word-for-word? In other words, if an MSDS uses a statement such as "causes iris atrophy", can the label say "causes eye damage"?

The label warning language does not need to match the language on the MSDS word for word nor does it need to address every hazard listed on the MSDS. Sections (f) and (g) of the HCS address container labeling and MSDS respectively. There is no requirement for a word for word translation between the label and MSDS. The purpose of a label is to provide an immediate warning to employees of the hazards they may be exposed to and through the chemical identity, labels provide a link to more detailed information available through material safety data sheets and other sources.

OSHA's compliance directive Inspection Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard, (CPL 2-2.38C) discusses the issue of appropriate hazard warning. The directive states that:

It will not necessarily be appropriate to warn on the label about every hazard listed in the MSDSs. The data sheet is to address essentially everything that is known about the chemical. The selection of hazards to be highlighted on the label will involve some assessment of the weight of the evidence regarding each hazard reported on the data sheet. Assessing the weight of the evidence prior to including a hazard on a label will also necessarily mean consideration of exposures to the chemical that will occur to workers under normal conditions of use, or in foreseeable emergencies. However, this does not mean that only acute hazards are to be covered on the label, or that well substantiated hazards can be left off the label because they appear on the data sheet.

In [other] words then, label warning language must contain the appropriate warnings but the language used in those warnings does not have to be identical to the language used in the MSDS.

Question: Can medical test results and technically descriptive terms be translated into common language...?

For example, which two of the following four choices are more appropriate hazard warnings? A. Causes vasomoter rhinitis B. Causes nasal irritation C. Causes symptomatic ventricular arrhythmias D. Causes irregular heart beat which may be fatal if not controlled.

The HCS is a performance oriented standard that gives employers the flexibility to adapt the rule to the needs of the workplace situation, instead of having to follow specific rigid requirements. The key issue is that employees find the label meaningful. If you were to use the more technical choices in [the] example (choices A and C), then the employee training program would have to define these specific terms. Section (h) of the HCS requires that employees be trained on the physical and health hazards of the chemicals in the work area including information on target organ effect. Common sense supports the presentation of hazard information on the label in a straightforward manner, which would be choices B and D. This approach would communicate the essential information to employees in a more widely comprehensible manner.

letter: MStrong 03-02-94

see also: CPL 2-2.38C: A-20&21 10-22-90

Consistency of draft ANSI Z129.1 with HCS target organ effect labeling requirements

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)(ii)

Question: [Will] OSHA review section 5.2 of the draft revision of ANSI Z129.1 for consistency with OSHA's position on target organ labeling[?]

In terms of section 5.2 of the draft revision ANSI Z129.1, the target organ labeling instruction in this document is consistent with OSHA's position as stated above and further elaborated in CPL 2-2.38C. However, the use of the phrase "Based on Animal Data" in section 5.2.1 and 5.2.2 is not recommended on the label. Significant scientific and technical expertise is required to evaluate and interpret animal data. The use of this proposed labeling information could diminish the impact of the warning label on employees who typically do not have this expertise to make judgements on animal exposure compared to human exposure.

Regarding the Agency's review of the proposed ANSI Standard as a matter of policy, OSHA does not approve materials developed by the private sector. OSHA staff have informally reviewed a number of materials at the request of the organizations preparing them, and have pointed out to them any inaccuracies or inconsistencies. However, in no case have these informal agency actions served as an endorsement or approval of such materials.

letter: MMullins 02-09-94

Cancer warnings required for fibrous glass products

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)(ii)

OSHA has recently determined that cancer warnings must appear on labels of fibrous glass products to which workers will be exposed. The [Hazard Communication Standard] (HCS) requires that the labels for hazardous chemicals include "appropriate hazard warnings." The rule does not specify the language to be used to convey the hazards (in response to your question: "What is the wording on the label?"), but does require that the health and physical hazards be included. Toxicological studies involving animals have shown an increased risk of cancer due to exposure to fibrous glass, and there is also statistically significant human evidence that exposure to fibrous glass may cause cancer. If human evidence of carcinogenicity exists, a label for such products must include warnings that the product may cause cancer. In addition, any other physical or health hazards of fibrous glass, including target organ effects (i.e., "causes skin and eye irritation", etc.) must also be conveyed on the label.

letter: DMudie 11-19-93

see also: THays 06-28-91

Labels must have appropriate hazard warning

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)(ii)

Question: Does the hazard warning on the label have to exactly match the MSDS [Material Safety Data Sheet] warning or can it be simplified? Further, what is the appropriate hazard warning for the listed examples?

OSHA's policy is that the hazard warning must be included on the label and must specifically convey the hazards of the chemical. OSHA has consistently maintained that this includes target organ effects. Appendix A of 29 CFR 1910.1200 clearly states that employees exposed to health hazards must be apprised of both changes in body functions and the signs and symptoms that may occur to signal the changes. The definition of "hazard warning" states that the warning must convey the hazards of the chemical and is intended to include the target organ effects. For example, if, when inhaled, the chemical causes lung damage, then that is the appropriate warning. Lung damage is the hazard, not inhalation.

Further, there are some situations where the specific target organ effect is not known. Where this is the case, the more general warning statement would be permitted. For example, if the only information available is an LC50 test result, "harmful if inhaled" may be appropriate.

letter: MStrong 09-27-93

Warning label for fiberglass wool

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)(ii)

Your letter forwarded for our review a copy of a "new" label intended for use by your company for products that contain fiberglass wool. The label you forwarded contains the following hazard warning: "Contains fiberglass wool. Possible cancer hazard. To avoid this possible cancer hazard, minimize breathing fiberglass wool dust." In addition, the warning: "May cause irritation to skin, eyes and respiratory tract" also appears on the label.

This specific language serves to provide employees with appropriate hazard warning information for this particular product. The label appears to meet the intent of the HCS and would therefore be in compliance with the requirements of OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard [HCS].

letter: THays 06-28-91

see also: DMudie 11-19-93

Selection of hazards to be included on the label

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)(ii)

It will not necessarily be appropriate to warn on the label about every hazard listed in the material safety data sheets (MSDSs). The data sheet is to address essentially everything that is known about the chemical. The selection of hazards to be highlighted on the label will involve some assessment of the weight of the evidence regarding each hazard reported on the data sheet. Assessing the weight of the evidence prior to including a hazard on a label will also necessarily mean consideration of exposures to the chemical that will occur to workers under normal conditions of use, or in foreseeable emergencies. However, this does not mean that only acute hazards are to be covered on the label, or that well substantiated hazards can be left off the label because they appear on the data sheet.

An example of a situation where it may not be necessary to include the presence of a hazardous ingredient in a formulation when developing the product's label follows: Recently, IARC [International Agency for Research on Cancer] published monograph no. 44, entitled, "Alcohol Drinking." IARC's determination on the carcinogenicity of ethanol is based on chronic exposure to ethanol through human consumption via the drinking of alcoholic beverages, over time. In performing the hazard determination on a product mixture which contains ethanol as one of the hazardous ingredients, a chemical manufacturer must, under the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), include mention of ethanol as a hazardous ingredient on the MSDSs, along with the findings as published in the IARC monograph. As part of the hazard determination, manufacturers must consider exposures to the chemical product that would occur under normal conditions of use or in foreseeable emergencies, and toxicity associated with all routes of entry. If a chemical manufacturer were to formulate a product which contained ethanol as part of the mixture, but the product's intended use did not involve exposure through ingestion of the ethanol, the manufacturer could document the intended use and resultant exposure scenarios on the MSDSs but not label the product as a "carcinogen." Again, the information about the carcinogenicity of ethanol would need to appear on the MSDSs, but since exposure under normal conditions of use, etc., would not involve ingestion and since the only evidence calling ethanol a human carcinogen comes from studies involving chronic alcoholic beverage ingestion, the weight of the evidence would preclude the requirement to warn of carcinogenic hazards on the label of the product.

CPL 2-2.38C: A-20&21 10-22-90

see also: MStrong 03-02-94

Label must convey health effects

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)(ii)

The labels you forwarded are not sufficient to meet the downstream labeling requirements of the HCS [Hazard Communication Standard]. As you stated in your letter, these labels indicated the "degree" of hazard. Although this may be useful information, the HCS requires an "appropriate hazard warning." "Hazard warning" is defined as "any words, pictures, symbols, or combination thereof appearing on a label or other appropriate form of warning which convey the hazards of the chemical(s) in the container(s)." The labels you forwarded do not specifically convey the hazards, particularly with regard to health effects, and, therefore, do not meet the requirements of the HCS.

One significant drawback to using the labeling system you describe is that employees need extensive training to interpret the information. This type of training would be conducted in a manufacturing facility under the provisions of the HCS, but there is no assurance that other employees handling containers in commerce would be familiar with the system. Although not permitted as the sole label information on a container sent downstream, such labels would be permitted to meet in-plant labeling requirements since material safety data sheets and training would be available for [your] employees.

letter: RBerger 12-16-85

Responsible party named on label and MSDS; distributors

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)(iii)

According to the HCS, the "responsible party" means someone who can provide additional information on the hazardous chemical and appropriate emergency procedures, if necessary. This definition applies to chemical manufacturers, importers, and distributors. If your client wishes to list the name, address, and emergency telephone number of the actual manufacturer, the designation of "manufacturer" rather than "responsible party" must be used for clarity.

The standard specifically requires the name and address of the chemical manufacturer, importer or other responsible party to be identified on the label. Replacing this information with an "A", "B", or "C" is not acceptable on containers leaving the workplace. The label information, in some situations, provides the only identifying and hazard information to employees handling the chemical. Also, employers that do not receive the MSDS with the initial shipment must request one from the chemical manufacturer or distributor. The label again provides the only identifying information.

In all cases, the "responsible party" named on the MSDS and the label is held responsible for the accuracy of the information and potentially subject to citation if a violation of the HCS was determined to exist. If the distributor makes changes to the required information on the labels and the MSDSs, the distributor then assumes responsibility.

letter: PMartino 07-06-89

Solid Metal, Wood or Plastic Items In Transit - (f)(2)

In the February 9, 1994, Amendments to the Final Hazard Communication Rule, paragraph (f)(2) has been divided into three subsections, preserving most of the original wording. The labeling alternative for solid metal items in transit has been expanded to include solid wood, plastic, and whole grain. New wording is indicated in quotation marks:

"(i)" For solid metal, "solid wood, or plastic items" that are not exempted as articles due to their downstream use, "or shipments of whole grain," the required label may be transmitted at the time of initial shipment and need not be included with subsequent shipments to the same employer unless the label information changes;

"(ii)" The label may be transmitted with the initial shipment itself, or with the material safety data sheet provided prior to or at the time of the initial shipment;

"(iii)" This exception to requiring labels on every container is only "for the solid material" itself, and does not apply to hazardous chemicals used in conjunction with, or known to be present with, the material and to which employees handling the "items in transit may be exposed (for example, cutting fluids or pesticides in grains)."

Labeling requirements for treated wood products

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(2)

...It is OSHA's understanding that treated lumber is not completely cured at the time of its initial distribution. Therefore, the hazardous chemical will, to a varying degree, leach out of the treated lumber and be available for exposure to employees.

Based on the [available] information...OSHA concludes that labels must be provided on each shipment of treated wood. Please bear in mind that ultimate compliance with the OSHA regulations will be determined by the local OSHA Area Office serving your geographical area. The standard's requirement is stated specifically in paragraph (f)(2)(iii), which is provided below:

"(iii) This exception to requiring labels on every container of hazardous chemicals is only for solid material itself, and does not apply to hazardous chemicals used in conjunction with, or known to be present with the material and to which employees handling the items in transit may be exposed (for example, cutting fluids or pesticides in grains)."

The HCS necessitates a "downstream flow of information" which means that producers of hazardous chemicals have the primary responsibility for generating and disseminating information, while the users must obtain the information and transmit it to their employees.

letter: MWikstrom 11-17-94

Labeling requirements for solid metal objects

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(2)

Your company manufactures stump removal equipment. Each stump router cutter head has carbide tips on the cutter teeth. Your customers sharpen the cutter teeth by grinding the carbide tips.

Since the cutter teeth are solid metal, the required label may be transmitted to your customers at the time of initial shipment and need not be included with subsequent shipment to the same employer unless the information on the label changes. The label may be transmitted with the initial shipment itself, or with appropriate material safety data sheets that are to be provided prior to or at the time of the first shipment. You may also affix the warning label on every cutter head guard of the machine. Such action may assist your customers in complying with the Hazard Communication Standard.

Material safety data sheets [MSDS] are required for each hazardous chemical which could potentially present a physical or health hazard during the normal use of the product. Thus, a material safety data sheet would be necessary for the carbide tips. For the general metal components, however, a material safety data sheet would only be necessary if routine use or maintenance would likely involve exposure to metallic dust or fumes. Listing the general metal components of steel products is acceptable if a material safety data sheet is necessary.

letter: KDoty 10-26-87

Overlap with DOT Requirements - (f)(3)

Language requirements on labels for drums of hazardous materials for export

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(3)

Your questions concern clarification on labeling drums of hazardous materials for export. Generally, the labeling requirements for containers leaving the workplace apply whether they are packaged for singular or bulk container shipment. These requirements are listed in 29 CFR 1910.1200(f), and include a provision that all labels be legible and in English.

In terms of the interior drums in the workplace and where employees may be exposed to hazardous chemicals, OSHA requires labeling of individual drums in English. The Department of Transportation has enforcement authority over the labeling of outside shipping containers.

letter: TLeech 06-08-93

No requirement for labeling outer shipping label

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(3)

While we agree that the lack of an outer shipping label may pose a hazard to employees working near and attempting to clean-up the spill from unlabeled leaking shipping containers, we nevertheless feel ours is the language of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). "Container" is defined in the HCS as the vessel "or the like that contains a hazardous chemical" not something that holds a container or containers of hazardous chemical(s).

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has enforcement authority over the labeling of outside shipping containers. The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) specifically states that containers of hazardous chemicals leaving the workplace are to be labeled in such a way that does not conflict with the requirements of DOT's Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. DOT has recently revised its Hazardous Materials Regulations ("HMR," 49 CFR parts 171-180) with respect to what they refer to as "hazard communication requirements" (shipping paper descriptions, marking and labeling of packages, placarding of vehicles and bulk packagings, and emergency response communication) and classification and packaging requirements (see Federal Register, December 21, 1990, Vol. 55, effective October 1, 1991), after which time the Department will be enforcing both the old and newly-revised requirements, which are to be phased in over a five year period.

If during a workplace inspection, OSHA compliance personnel find that the chemical manufacturer is not labeling the outside shipping container, a referral should be made to the Research and Special Programs Administration of the DOT at the following address:

Department of Transportation

Research and Special Programs Administration

Office of Hazardous Materials Transportation

Enforcement Division

400 Seventh Street, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20590-0001

Telephone: (202) 366-4700

While we agree ... that the intent of the HCS (is to supply as much information to potentially exposed employees as possible), our interpretation of this provision is consistent with the plain meaning of the standard. The field is free to encourage employers to exceed the basic requirements of the HCS and maximize the exchange of workplace hazard information by labeling shipping containers, again, in such a way that does not conflict with applicable DOT [Department of Transportation] requirements.

memorandum: PClark (DCP) to JPhillips, RA 05-15-91

Outer shipping container labeling exemption

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(3)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, does not regulate the outer shipping container of hazardous material. The hazard warning labeling requirement is only enforced and limited to the actual container holding the hazardous substance, i.e. bottle, tube, can, jar, etc. There is no OSHA requirement for hazardous warning labels on the outer shipping container.

If the shipping container itself is the "actual container holding the hazardous substance" then it would have to be labeled in accordance with the requirements of the HCS.

[Originally written for the distribution industry]

letter: JBoyan 11-09-90

Labeling of the shipping container

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(3)

If the container is a tank truck, rail car, or other vehicle carrying a hazardous chemical(s) not already in a labeled container(s), the appropriate label or label information may either be posted on the tank or vehicle, or attached to the accompanying shipping papers or bill of lading. Employers purchasing hazardous chemicals must ensure that their employees are aware of the label warning before potential exposure to incoming chemicals occur.

Advising your member companies to include a label or label information along with the truck's accompanying shipping papers meets the intent of the standard. This practice will help to ensure that employees handling hazardous chemicals shipped in vehicles are made aware of the label warning information and will be able [to] take the necessary precautions to protect themselves form potential exposure.

letter: RBartlett 05-16-90

Appropriate hazard warnings for shipping labels

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(3)

The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires shipped containers of hazardous chemicals to be labeled, tagged or marked with the identity of the hazardous chemicals, appropriate hazard warnings, and the name and address of the chemical manufacturer, importer, or other responsible party. [The Company] was issued a citation for not providing appropriate hazard warnings on its containers of hazardous chemicals which are shipped to downstream employers. An in-plant labeling system was used as labels for their shipped containers, which did not include appropriate health hazard information including the target organ effects.

..., the preamble to the HCS published on August 24, 1987, in the Federal Register, includes a lengthy discussion on what constitutes an appropriate hazard warning required to be included on the label. Specific information regarding health and physical hazards is required on the label to comply with the rule.

OSHA would like to point out that all chemical manufacturers and importers have been required to label shipped containers of hazardous chemicals with the appropriate hazard information since November 25, 1985.

letter: RKasten 07-26-89 Congress

OSHA Substance Specific Health Standards - (f)(4)

Labeling requirements for cadmium containing compounds

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(4)

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) intends for the cadmium content initiating the applicability of [29 CFR 1910.1027(m)(3)(iii)] to conform with the criteria in the Hazard Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200, for initiating the requirement to label carcinogens. Labeling is definitely required if the content of cadmium is 0.1 percent or greater (refer to 29 CFR 1910.1200(d)(5)(ii)). Labeling is required at a lower concentration if the manufacturer, importer, or employer has evidence to indicate that cadmium present in the product in concentrations of less than 0.1 percent could be released in airborne concentrations which would exceed the OSHA permissible exposure limit for cadmium (refer to 29 CFR 1910.1200(d)(5)(iv)).

If an item is mechanically coated with cadmium powder, coated with cadmium-containing paint, cadmium plated, or otherwise surface-treated with cadmium, then the content of cadmium in the material applied to the surface determines whether labelling is required. Under that situation it is inappropriate to base the labelling decision on the content of cadmium in the item.

The label is not required to contain cadmium hazard information. The only information it needs to convey is the location of cadmium-containing products. Please bear in mind that the beneficiaries of the labeling of installed cadmium-containing products include, but are not limited to, employers and their employees engaged in waste disposal, recycling of materials, maintenance work, or repair work.

letter: GLancour 04-26-94

Carcinogen warning requirements

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(4)

As specified in the rule, chemicals which have been indicated as positive or suspect carcinogens by either OSHA, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) or the National Toxicology Program (NTP) will be considered to be carcinogenic for purposes of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS).

Those chemicals identified as being "known to be carcinogenic" and those substances that may "reasonably be anticipated to be carcinogenic" by NTP must have carcinogen warnings on the label and information on the material safety data sheets (MSDSs). For NTP, appearing on the annual listing constitutes a positive finding of suspect or confirmed carcinogenicity.

OSHA's comprehensive substance specific regulations in Subpart Z of 1910 contain provisions for labeling. Therefore, containers of hazardous chemicals labeled in accordance with the substance specific standard will be deemed to be in compliance with the health effects labeling requirements of the standard.

An exception to this is OSHA's Formaldehyde Standard, for which an administrative stay of the hazard communication provisions (sections (m)(1)(i) and (m)(1)(ii)) is in effect. The HCS is enforceable for these provisions of the formaldehyde standard.

[The Administrative Stay has been lifted, and all provisions of the Formaldehyde Standard are now being enforced.]

CPL 2-2.38C: A-24 10-22-90

Carcinogen labeling

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(4)

It should be noted that in many instances the labeling requirements of the comprehensive substance specific standard address only carcinogenicity and do not address acute health hazards or physical hazards. Those chemicals regulated by OSHA as carcinogens in substance specific standards that include labeling requirements are listed below:

Asbestos

4-Nitrobiphenyl

Alpha-Napthylamine

Methyl Chloromethyl Ether

3,3' Dichlorobenzidine (and its salts)

Bis-Chloromethyl Ether

Beta-Naphthylamine

Benzidine

4-Aminodiphenyl

Ethyleneimine

Beta-Propiolactone

2-Acetylaminofluorene

4-Dimethylaminoazobenzene

N-Nitrosodimethylamine

Vinyl Chloride (and Polyvinyl Chloride)

Inorganic Arsenic

1,2 Dibromo-3-Chloropropane

Acrylonitrile

Ethylene Oxide

Formaldehyde

Benzene

In addition to those chemicals for which OSHA has substance-specific standards, OSHA has set new permissible exposure limits for several substances based on avoidance of cancer. These substances are specified in the preamble to the Air Contaminants rule published January 19, 1989. (See Table C15-1 on pages 2669-71 of the Federal Register notice of that date.)

CPL 2-2.38C: A-24&25 10-22-90

Labeling under vinyl chloride standard

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(4) and 29 CFR 1910.1017(l)(4)

The vinyl chloride standard controls the labeling that polyvinyl chloride must bear with respect to information on carcinogenicity. Provision 29 CFR 1910.1017(l)(4) requires that containers of polyvinyl chloride shall be labeled as containing vinyl chloride. Moreover, the provision requires that the label state that polyvinyl chloride is a cancer-suspect agent. Such labeling, however, is not required for "fabricated products." A "fabricated product" is described at 29 CFR 1910.1017(b)(6) as "...a product made wholly or partly from polyvinyl chloride, and which does not require further processing at temperatures, and for times, sufficient to cause mass melting of the polyvinyl chloride resulting in the release of vinyl chloride." Consequently, polyvinyl chloride resin that has not yet been processed into film, or sheeting, or has not yet undergone final molding or extrusion, must be labeled in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1017(l)(4); whereas the film, sheeting, final molded products, and final extruded products do not.

Whenever labeling according to 29 CFR 1910.1017(l)(4) applies for a polyvinyl chloride product, then the provisions of the Hazard Communication Standard, 29 CFR 1910.1200, also apply, subject to the limits on scope and applicability found in the standard.

letter: PSusser 04-30-86

Acrylonitrile standard and labeling

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(4) and 29 CFR 1910.1045

Acrylonitrile (AN) is regulated by OSHA as a carcinogen in a substance-specific standard at 29 CFR 1910.1045. That standard contains its own labeling requirements. However, to the extent that 1910.1045(p) applies in this situation, the labeling requirement of that substance specific standard addresses only carcinogenicity and does not require the reporting of other hazards, such as acute or chronic health effects or potential physical hazards.

[Originally written for the textile industry]

letter: PTyson no date

In-House Labeling Requirements - (f)(5)

Labeling responsibilities for fire extinguishers serviced on a customer's premises

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5)

Question: ...[S]hould appropriate hazard warning labels be affixed to fire extinguishers that [a] company services but does not remove from [a] customers' premises?

Fire extinguishers that contain hazardous chemicals...must be labeled in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5). [The] customer (i.e., the site employer) is responsible for ensuring that...containers [are labeled as required] and also that MSDSs are available to address the physical and health hazards of fire extinguishers in their workplace.

Paragraph (e)(2) of the standard is also relevant to this question, which states that:

"Employers who produce, use, or store hazardous chemicals at a workplace in such a way that the employees of other employer(s) may be exposed ... hazard communication programs developed and implemented under this paragraph (e) include the following:

(i) The methods the employer will use to provide the other employer(s) on-site access to material safety data sheets for each hazardous chemical the other employer(s)' employees may be exposed to while working;

(ii) The methods the employer will use to inform the other employer(s) of any precautionary measures that need to be taken to protect employees during the workplace's normal operating conditions and in foreseeable emergencies; and,

(iii) The methods the employer will use to inform the other employer of the labeling system used in the workplace." The responsibility of providing the label information is clearly on the site employer who owns or controls the fire extinguishers and their use.

letter: CTrafelet 03-15-95

Alternative labeling methods in a dental office

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5)

[Your] letter indicates that [your office] is labeling all hazardous chemical containers. As previously stated, original hazardous chemical containers are required to be properly labeled by the chemical manufacturer, distributor, or importer. However, if in [your] dental office a hazardous chemical from a labeled container is transferred into another container and the chemical is not intended for the immediate use of the employee who performs the transfer, then the employer must ensure that the new container is labeled properly.

The [Hazard Communication Standard (HCS)] allows the employer to use an alternative labeling method as long as the written Hazard Communication Program adequately addresses the issue. Examples of alternative labeling methods are the Hazard Material Information System (HMIS), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) systems. [Your] letter indicates that the office is using an alternative labeling method that includes a rating system and that this system is burdensome. The standard does not require employers to use hazardous chemical rating systems. Again, if the incoming container is already labeled by the chemical manufacturer, importer, or other responsible party, then the employer is not required to affix his own label. If the container does require labeling by the employer, then either the alternative labeling method or a label containing the chemical identity and an appropriate hazard warning shall be used.

letter: JSlattery 06-14-93

Labeling of chemical storage cabinets

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5)

Under the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), there is no requirement to label cabinets used to store hazardous chemicals. Only the actual containers themselves must be labeled with the identity of the chemical and an appropriate hazard warning.

[Originally written about funeral homes]

letter: HRaether 12-06-90

Exposure calculations not permitted in hazard determination

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5)

Exposure calculations are not permitted in determining whether a hazard must appear on a label. If there is a potential for exposure other than in minute, trace or very small quantities, the hazard must be included when substantiated as required by the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). Suppliers may not exclude hazards based on presumed levels of exposure downstream (i.e., omitting a carcinogenic hazard warning because, in the supplier's estimate, presumed exposures will not be high enough to cause the effect). The hazard is an intrinsic property of the chemical. Exposure determines degree of risk and should be addressed in training programs by the downstream employer.

CPL 2-2.38C: A-21&22 10-22-90

Carcinogen warning requirements

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5)

As specified in the rule, chemicals which have been indicated as positive or suspect carcinogens by either OSHA, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) or the National Toxicology Program (NTP) will be considered to be carcinogenic for purposes of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS).

Those chemicals identified as being "known to be carcinogenic" and those substances that may "reasonably be anticipated to be carcinogenic" by NTP must have carcinogen warnings on the label and information on the material safety data sheets (MSDSs). For NTP, appearing on the annual listing constitutes a positive finding of suspect or confirmed carcinogenicity.

OSHA's comprehensive substance specific regulations in Subpart Z of 1910 contain provisions for labeling. Therefore, containers of hazardous chemicals labeled in accordance with the substance specific standard will be deemed to be in compliance with the health effects labeling requirements of the standard.

An exception to this is OSHA's Formaldehyde Standard, for which an administrative stay of the hazard communication provisions (sections (m)(1)(i) and (m)(1)(ii)) is in effect. The HCS is enforceable for these provisions of the formaldehyde standard.

[The Administrative Stay has been lifted, and all provisions of the Formaldehyde Standard are now being enforced.]

CPL 2-2.38C: A-24 10-22-90

Labeling requirements for carcinogen concentrations at 0.1%

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5)

It is the Agency's policy that hazard warnings must appear on the material safety data sheet (MSDS) and the label of a chemical product when a carcinogenic substance is present in amounts [of] 0.1% [or greater]. Exposure calculations are not permitted in determining whether a hazard must appear on a label in that if there is a potential for exposure (other than in minute trace, or very small quantities), the hazard must be included. Additionally, suppliers may not exclude hazards based on presumed levels of exposure downstream (i.e., omitting a carcinogenic hazard warning because, in their estimate, presumed exposures will not be high enough to cause the effect).

... The purpose of the label is to serve as an immediate hazard warning of the health or physical hazard(s) that employees may be exposed to while working with the chemical. With this information, employees can take the proper precautionary measures necessary to protect themselves from exposure. Labels also provide a link to the more detailed information available on the MSDS. However, just because a hazard is detailed on the MSDS does not mean that information does not have to appear as a warning on the label.

[Originally written about calcium silicate]

letter: MMichaelson 04-03-90

Container labeling and the transfer of hazardous chemicals

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5)

Under the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), the manufacturer, importer, or distributor is required to label each container of hazardous chemicals. Therefore, each container of hazardous chemicals received should have existing labels that comply with the requirements of the rule, and your clients would not be required to relabel the containers, shelves or doors. If the hazardous chemicals are transferred into unmarked containers, these containers must be labeled with the required information, unless the container into which the chemical is transferred is intended for the immediate use of the employee who performed the transfer. As stated in paragraph (f)(7) of the rule, "The employer is not required to label portable containers into which hazardous chemicals are transferred from labeled containers, and which are intended only for the immediate use of the employee who performs the transfer."

Section 29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(6) states the following: "The employer may use signs, placards, process sheets, batch tickets, operating procedures, or such written materials in lieu of affixing labels to individual stationary process containers,...." As stated in your letter, your clients store various types of chemicals in containers on shelves or in cabinets and drawers; however, these containers are not considered stationary (not capable of being moved) process containers. Therefore, each container must convey the information outlined in section (f)(5).

letter: KCarpenter 06-11-89

Alternative labeling systems

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5)

The preamble to the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) recognizes the existence of numerous labeling systems that are currently in use in industry. Many of the systems rely on numerical or alphabetical codes to convey the hazards. Although, the intent of the standard is to permit the use of these systems for inplant labeling, provided the entire hazard communication program is effective, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not endorse specific services or products. It would, therefore, be inappropriate for OSHA to require a particular labeling system's code on the material safety data sheet.

letter: NHolly 05-01-89

In-plant hazard warning labels may not be suitable as shipping labels

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5)

The standard's preamble recognizes the existence of the numerous labeling systems that are currently in use in industry. The intent of the standard is to permit the use of these systems as long as the employer's entire Hazard Communication Program (HCP) is effective. In assessing an employer's compliance with the standard, an OSHA compliance officer will evaluate the effectiveness of the employer's inplant labeling system through a review of the employer's material safety data sheets and training program. An effective program would be one that ensures that employees are aware of the hazardous effects of the chemicals they may be exposed to as well as meeting the other basic requirements of the standard. Hazard warnings used as part of inplant labeling systems, in combination with the HCP, are deemed to be effective when they promote safe handling and use of hazardous chemicals in the workplace.

From the label decal enclosed with your letter it appears that the chemical identity and health hazard warnings appear, in addition to a numerical hazard rating system. As long as the hazard warnings and/or ratings are correctly selected it appears your labeling system would meet the inplant labeling requirements of the Hazard Communication Standard. Please note that for shipped containers your labeling system could not rely on a numerical rating system and would have to be supplemented with the appropriate hazard warning(s) in a narrative form and include the target organ effect as well as the physical hazards of the chemicals.

In addition, if containers of hazardous chemicals are shipped, the name and address of the chemical manufacturer, importer, or other responsible party must also appear on the label.

letter: PKelly 05-04-87

Labeling requirements for in-plant storage and transport containers

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5)

Question 1: Must bulk chemical storage tanks and the plumbing be marked and labeled to show all hazards?

The standard permits several alternative warning methods under 1910.1200(f)[6] as follows:

"[6] The employer may use signs, placards, process sheets, batch tickets, operating procedures, or other such written materials in lieu of affixing labels to individual stationary process containers, as long as the alternative method identifies the containers to which it is applicable and conveys the information required by paragraphs (f)[5] of this section to be on a label. The written materials shall be readily accessible to the employees in their work area throughout each work shift.

Appropriate hazard warnings are required for all hazardous chemicals present.

Question 2: When containers are filled for storage must they be labeled on the distribution property?

Containers should be labeled as soon as practicable. A delay between filling and labeling is permissible. Bulk storage tanks from which filling is taking place must be labeled.

Question 3: Must the label identify all products in mixtures?

Employers need not list all of a product's constituents individually on the label. This interpretation is evident when one reviews the definition of the terms "identity" and "common name" under section 29 CFR 1910.1200(c) of the standard. Essentially, a common name may appear on the label as long as the material safety data sheet (MSDS) is similarly identified.

letter: JWooldridge 09-25-84

Hazard Warnings, Supplementing Labels - (f)(5)(ii)

In the February 9, 1994, Amendments to the Final Hazard Communication Rule, paragraph (f)(5)(ii), hazard warning requirements for in-house labeling systems, has been modified. New language is indicated in quotation marks:

(ii) Appropriate hazard warnings, "or alternatively, words, pictures, symbols, or combination thereof, which provide at least general information regarding the hazards of the chemicals, and which, in conjunction with the other information immediately available to employees under the hazard communication program, will provide employees with the specific information regarding the physical and health hazards of the hazardous chemical."

Target Organ Effects on in-Plant Labels

Appropriate hazard warnings are discussed further in the section on Appendix A of the standard.

Use of alternative labeling systems on construction sites

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5)(ii)

Question: Does paragraph (f)(5)(ii) of the Hazard Communication Standard allow employers to use numerical or color-coded systems as a means of labelling hazardous chemicals?

As discussed in section III of the preamble of the revised HCS, the revisions to paragraph (f)(5)(ii) are primarily intended to accommodate in-plant labeling systems where the employer retains control over the entire hazard communication program within the workplace. Under these circumstances, alternative labeling systems such as numerical or color-coding systems that indicate the type and severity of a particular hazard may be acceptable so long as employers ensure compliance with other elements of their hazard communication program.

However, employers relying on an alternative labeling system must augment the training program to specifically address target organ effects that may not be readily discerned from a numerical or color-coded system; and must ensure that employees have the required immediate access to the data sheet, and understand the labeling system used and how to obtain and use the information provided.

Due to the nature of construction operations (i.e., transient workforce, employees often work at multiple sites, and multiple employers are often present on site), the use of these alternative labeling systems on construction sites may not be appropriate since the employer would likely not have control over the entire hazard communication program within the workplace and employees would often work on other sites that could use different labeling systems.

letter: PFalls 02-02-95

Requirements for duplicating MSDS hazard warning language on labels

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5)(ii)

Question: Must label warning language match the MSDS warning language exactly word-for-word? In other words, if an MSDS uses a statement such as "causes iris atrophy", can the label say "causes eye damage"?

The label warning language does not need to match the language on the MSDS word for word nor does it need to address every hazard listed on the MSDS. Sections (f) and (g) of the HCS address container labeling and MSDS respectively. There is no requirement for a word for word translation between the label and MSDS. The purpose of a label is to provide an immediate warning to employees of the hazards they may be exposed to and through the chemical identity, labels provide a link to more detailed information available through material safety data sheets and other sources.

OSHA's compliance directive Inspection Procedures for the Hazard Communication Standard, (CPL 2-2.38C) discusses the issue of appropriate hazard warning. The directive states that:

It will not necessarily be appropriate to warn on the label about every hazard listed in the MSDSs. The data sheet is to address essentially everything that is known about the chemical. The selection of hazards to be highlighted on the label will involve some assessment of the weight of the evidence regarding each hazard reported on the data sheet. Assessing the weight of the evidence prior to including a hazard on a label will also necessarily mean consideration of exposures to the chemical that will occur to workers under normal conditions of use, or in foreseeable emergencies. However, this does not mean that only acute hazards are to be covered on the label, or that well substantiated hazards can be left off the label because they appear on the data sheet.

In [other] words then, label warning language must contain the appropriate warnings but the language used in those warnings does not have to be identical to the language used in the MSDS.

Question: Can medical test results and technically descriptive terms be translated into common language...?

For example, which two of the following four choices are more appropriate hazard warnings? A. Causes vasomoter rhinitis B. Causes nasal irritation C. Causes symptomatic ventricular arrhythmias D. Causes irregular heart beat which may be fatal if not controlled.

The HCS is a performance oriented standard that gives employers the flexibility to adapt the rule to the needs of the workplace situation, instead of having to follow specific rigid requirements. The key issue is that employees find the label meaningful. If you were to use the more technical choices in [the] example (choices A and C), then the employee training program would have to define these specific terms. Section (h) of the HCS requires that employees be trained on the physical and health hazards of the chemicals in the work area including information on target organ effect. Common sense supports the presentation of hazard information on the label in a straightforward manner, which would be choices B and D. This approach would communicate the essential information to employees in a more widely comprehensible manner.

letter: MStrong 03-02-94

Target organ effects: several industry labeling systems must be augmented in HCP

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5)(ii)

The standard's preamble recognizes the existence of numerous labeling systems that are currently in use in industry. Examples include the HMIS (Hazardous Materials Information System), NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) and ANSI (American National Standards Institute) systems. Some of these systems rely on a numerical and/or alphabetic codes to convey the hazards. Although these labeling systems may not convey the target organ effects, the intent of the standard is to permit the use of these systems for inplant labeling as long as the written Hazard Communication Program adequately addresses the issue.

.... The training program must therefore explicitly instruct employees on how to use and understand the plant's alternative labeling systems to ensure that employees are aware of the effects (including target organ effects) of the hazardous chemicals to which they are potentially exposed.

CSHOs [Compliance Safety and Health Officers] must carefully review the overall hazard communication program to ensure its effectiveness in meeting all the requirements of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). One way for CSHOs to determine the effectiveness of the training program, including employee understanding of target organ effects, especially when numerical or other systems are used for in-plant labeling, is through employee interviews. An employer relying on one of the above-mentioned labeling systems may therefore have to augment his hazard communication training program to specifically address the target organ effects that may not be easily discernable from a numerical warning system.

CPL 2-2.38C: A-18&19 10-22-90

Include all appropriate hazard warnings on the label

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5)(ii)

An employer's obligation to label in-plant containers of hazardous chemicals requires that all appropriate hazard warnings appear on the label pursuant to (f)(5)(ii). For example, an employer who elects to label only some of the health hazard warnings associated with the chemical while omitting other recognized hazards, such as carcinogenicity, selectively deprives his employees of critical hazard information and shall be cited under (f)(5)(ii). However, if the downstream employer has relied in good faith on the adequacy of the label as prepared by the chemical manufacturer and the label contains an inadequate hazard warning(s), the CSHO [Compliance Safety and Health Officer] shall follow the referral procedures outlined in K.7.a.(7) of this instruction.

CPL 2-2.38C: A-23 10-22-90

Alternative in-plant labeling methods

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5)(ii)

For purposes of reviewing alternative in-plant labeling methods under (f)(6), the CSHO [Compliance Safety and Health Officer] shall note that this provision allows alternative means of identification only in the event that an employer chooses to forego labeling an in-plant container under (f)(5). Thus, an employer may not claim that it supplemented its partial compliance with (f)(5)(ii); i.e., labeling only some of the chemical's health hazard warnings, with one of the alternative means of identification enumerated in (f)(6). The key to evaluating the effectiveness of any alternative labeling method is to determine whether it provides an immediate visual warning of the chemical hazards of the workplace, identifies the applicable chemical and container, and conveys the appropriate hazard warnings. The alternative labeling system must also be readily accessible to all employees in their work area throughout each workshift. For purposes of this provision, the term "other such written materials" does not include material safety data sheets used in lieu of labels.

CPL 2-2.38C: A-23 10-22-90

Existing labels and identification of target organ effects

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5)(ii)

The Agency has recognized employer use of existing numerical or otherwise coded labeling systems for in-plant labeling situations, but does require the augmentation of the use of such a system if target organ effects are not conveyed by those labels.

Appendix A of the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) makes it clear that employees must be apprised of "the change in body function" associated with employee exposure and the "signs and symptoms that may occur." ... The definition of "hazard warning" under the HCS must convey the hazards of the chemical and is intended to include target organ effects. The same Instruction also discusses the effectiveness of in-plant labeling systems, specifically systems that "rely on numerical and/or alphabetic codes to convey the hazards."

"Although these labeling systems may not convey the target organ effects, the intent of the standard is to permit the use of these systems for in-plant labeling as long as the entire Hazard Communication Program (HCP) is effective. CSHOs [Compliance Safety and Health Officers] shall evaluate the effectiveness of in-plant labeling systems through a review of the employer's training program and material safety data sheet (MSDS) procedures. An effective program is one that ensures that employees are aware of hazardous effects (including target organ effects) of the chemicals they are potentially exposed to as well as meeting the other basic requirements of the standard. Hazard warnings used as part of in-plant labeling systems, in combination with the HCP, are effective when they promote safe handling and use of hazardous chemical in the workplace."

This means that employers relying on a labeling system such as the Hazardous Materials Information System must augment their hazard communication employee training program to specifically address the target organ effects that may not be discernable from a numerical warning system.

If you are developing your own in-plant labeling system for all materials coming into your facility, you may want to consider including target organ effects on the labels you are developing to eliminate the need for increased employee training in this area.

[Originally written for the chemical manufacturing industry]

letter: RLudlow 07-17-90

Standardized label rating systems for in-plant use only

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5)(ii)

OSHA does allow the use of standardized in-plant labeling systems for containers of hazardous chemicals which do not leave the workplace. These labels, incorporating rating systems, often contain less detailed information on the chemical hazards than is required by the rule. However, when these labels are used in conjunction with materials safety data sheets (MSDSs) which provide the required detailed information and training, as required by the standard, they are permitted for in-plant containers. In-plant labeling systems are not permitted for shipped containers unless the required label information is affixed to the container. Shipped container labels may provide the only hazard information in certain situations and there is no guarantee that downstream employees handling or using the chemicals will be able to understand the less detailed information permitted on in-plant labels.

letter: RKasten 07-26-89 Senator

 

Label must convey health effects

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5)(ii)

The labels you forwarded are not sufficient to meet the downstream labeling requirements of the HCS [Hazard Communication Standard]. As you stated in your letter, these labels indicated the "degree" of hazard. Although this may be useful information, the HCS requires an "appropriate hazard warning." "Hazard warning" is defined as "any words, pictures, symbols, or combination thereof appearing on a label or other appropriate form of warning which convey the hazards of the chemical(s) in the container(s)." The labels you forwarded do not specifically convey the hazards, particularly with regard to health effects, and, therefore, do not meet the requirements of the HCS.

One significant drawback to using the labeling system you describe is that employees need extensive training to interpret the information. This type of training would be conducted in a manufacturing facility under the provisions of the HCS, but there is no assurance that other employees handling containers in commerce would be familiar with the system. Although not permitted as the sole label information on a container sent downstream, such labels would be permitted to meet in-plant labeling requirements since material safety data sheets and training would be available for [your] employees.

letter: RBerger 12-16-85

Stationary Process Containers - (f)(6)

Alternative in-plant labeling for stationary containers

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(6)

As stated in the standard, any alternative labeling system utilized must convey the same information as a label required under the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The preamble to the 1983 HCS final rule (see Federal Register, page 53304, November 25, 1983) states that "alternatives to in-plant container labeling should be permitted for all stationary containers as long as they present the same information required to be on container labels, and are readily accessible to employees in the work area" (emphasis added).

An example of an alternative system, utilizing a code number, which would meet the intent of the standard may include the following scenario: a code or number, letter, etc., is the only identification that appears on a batch process vessel which contains chemicals that may change frequently during the process. The same code or identification appears on the batch process sheet, which is readily accessible to all the employees during each shift, while they are in their work area. The process sheet contains an appropriate hazard warning for that batch as required by the standard.

Keying a code to the MSDS only, without keying the code to an appropriate hazard warning does not meet the intent of the HCS. A material safety data sheet is not an "appropriate hazard warning;" the purpose of a label under the HCS is to serve as an immediate visual warning of the hazards associated with the chemical. The identity of the chemical leads to the more detailed information on the MSDS, but the hazard warning gives immediate information to employees working with the substance about the hazards associated with exposure.

[Originally written for the oil production industry]

letter: JHinton 07-25-91

Alternative in-plant labeling methods

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(6)

For purposes of reviewing alternative in-plant labeling methods under (f)(6), the CSHO [Compliance Safety and Health Officer] shall note that this provision allows alternative means of identification only in the event that an employer chooses to forego labeling an in-plant container under (f)(5). Thus, an employer may not claim that it supplemented its partial compliance with (f)(5)(ii); i.e., labeling only some of the chemical's health hazard warnings, with one of the alternative means of identification enumerated in (f)(6). The key to evaluating the effectiveness of any alternative labeling method is to determine whether it provides an immediate visual warning of the chemical hazards of the workplace, identifies the applicable chemical and container, and conveys the appropriate hazard warnings. The alternative labeling system must also be readily accessible to all employees in their work area throughout each workshift. For purposes of this provision, the term "other such written materials" does not include material safety data sheets used in lieu of labels.

CPL 2-2.38C: A-23 10-22-90

Standardized label rating systems for in-plant use only

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(6)

OSHA does allow the use of standardized in-plant labeling systems for containers of hazardous chemicals which do not leave the workplace. These labels, incorporating rating systems, often contain less detailed information on the chemical hazards than is required by the rule. However, when these labels are used in conjunction with materials safety data sheets (MSDSs) which provide the required detailed information and training, as required by the standard, they are permitted for in-plant containers. In-plant labeling systems are not permitted for shipped containers unless the required label information is affixed to the container. Shipped container labels may provide the only hazard information in certain situations and there is no guarantee that downstream employees handling or using the chemicals will be able to understand the less detailed information permitted on in-plant labels.

letter: RKasten 07-26-89 Senator

Container labeling and the transfer of hazardous chemicals

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(6)

Under the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), the manufacturer, importer, or distributor is required to label each container of hazardous chemicals. Therefore, each container of hazardous chemicals received should have existing labels that comply with the requirements of the rule, and your clients would not be required to relabel the containers, shelves or doors. If the hazardous chemicals are transferred into unmarked containers, these containers must be labeled with the required information, unless the container into which the chemical is transferred is intended for the immediate use of the employee who performed the transfer. As stated in paragraph (f)(7) of the rule, "The employer is not required to label portable containers into which hazardous chemicals are transferred from labeled containers, and which are intended only for the immediate use of the employee who performs the transfer."

Section 29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(6) states the following: "The employer may use signs, placards, process sheets, batch tickets, operating procedures, or such written materials in lieu of affixing labels to individual stationary process containers,...." As stated in your letter, your clients store various types of chemicals in containers on shelves or in cabinets and drawers; however, these containers are not considered stationary (not capable of being moved) process containers. Therefore, each container must convey the information outlined in section (f)(5).

letter: KCarpenter 06-11-89

Labeling requirements for bulk storage tanks

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(6)

Question 1: Must bulk chemical storage tanks and the plumbing be marked and labeled to show all hazards?

The standard permits several alternative warning methods under 1910.1200(f)[6] as follows:

"[6] The employer may use signs, placards, process sheets, batch tickets, operating procedures, or other such written materials in lieu of affixing labels to individual stationary process containers, as long as the alternative method identifies the containers to which it is applicable and conveys the information required by paragraphs (f)[5] of this section to be on a label. The written materials shall be readily accessible to the employees in their work area throughout each work shift.

Appropriate hazard warnings are required for all hazardous chemicals present.

Question 2: When containers are filled for storage must they be labeled on the distribution property?

Containers should be labeled as soon as practicable. A delay between filling and labeling is permissible. Bulk storage tanks from which filling is taking place must be labeled.

Question 3: Must the label identify all products in mixtures?

Employers need not list all of a product's constituents individually on the label. This interpretation is evident when one reviews the definition of the terms "identity" and "common name" under section 29 CFR 1910.1200(c) of the standard. Essentially, a common name may appear on the label as long as the material safety data sheet (MSDS) is similarly identified.

Question 4: Would signs posted in our drum filling area and storage area take the place of labels on our property?

No, containers must be identified as soon as possible. Signs may be used in place of labels on stationary process equipment pursuant to paragraph (f)[6] of the standard. (See answer to question number 1.)

letter: JWooldridge 09-25-84

Portable Transfer Containers - (f)(7)

In the February 9, 1994, Amendments to the Final Hazard Communication Rule, paragraph (f)(7) has been modified. The labeling exemption for portable transfer containers has been expanded, with new language indicated in quotation marks:

(7) The employer is not required to label portable containers intended only for the immediate use of the employee who performs the transfer. "For the purposes of this section, drugs which are dispensed by a pharmacy to a health care provider for direct administration to a patient are exempted from labeling."

Labeling of portable containers

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(7)

The provisions at (f)(7) are applicable only to containers that will be used by the person who transferred the chemical from the labeled container. Containers containing hazardous chemicals that will be utilized by employees other than the one performing the transfer, including employees on other shifts, must be labeled with the information required by paragraph (f)(5).

[Originally written for the chemical manufacturing industry]

letter: RLudlow 07-17-90

Container labeling and the transfer of hazardous chemicals

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(7)

Under the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), the manufacturer, importer, or distributor is required to label each container of hazardous chemicals. Therefore, each container of hazardous chemicals received should have existing labels that comply with the requirements of the rule, and your clients would not be required to relabel the containers, shelves or doors. If the hazardous chemicals are transferred into unmarked containers, these containers must be labeled with the required information, unless the container into which the chemical is transferred is intended for the immediate use of the employee who performed the transfer. As stated in paragraph (f)(7) of the rule, "The employer is not required to label portable containers into which hazardous chemicals are transferred from labeled containers, and which are intended only for the immediate use of the employee who performs the transfer."

Section 29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(6) states the following: "The employer may use signs, placards, process sheets, batch tickets, operating procedures, or such written materials in lieu of affixing labels to individual stationary process containers,...." As stated in your letter, your clients store various types of chemicals in containers on shelves or in cabinets and drawers; however, these containers are not considered stationary (not capable of being moved) process containers. Therefore, each container must convey the information outlined in section (f)(5).

letter: KCarpenter 06-11-89

 

Label Retention - (f)(8)

Label retention requirements for firms servicing fire extinguishers

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(8)

In the cases where [a firm servicing fire extinguishers is] acting as a distributor of hazardous extinguishing chemicals or charging [a fire extinguisher] cylinder and creating a compressed gas hazard, [the firm is] responsible for ensuring that the extinguishers are labeled in accordance with paragraph (f)(1) of the HCS. In those instances where [the firm's] services do not involve adding or supplying a hazardous chemical to the extinguisher or charging the cylinder, [the] firm would not be considered a distributor and consequently would not be responsible for the labeling of the extinguisher. However, under 1910.1200(f)(8), as an employer, [the firm is] prohibited from removing or defacing existing labels on incoming containers of hazardous chemicals, unless the container is immediately marked with the information required under the standard. In addition, for those fire extinguishers that must be marked or labeled in accordance with DOT's Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR Parts 171 through 180), OSHA's newly promulgated Final Rule Governing Retention of DOT Markings, Placards, and Labels (29 CFR 1910.1201) requires that employers retain the required DOT markings, labels, and placards on the extinguishers until the extinguishers are cleaned and purged of any potential hazards.

letter: CTrafelet 03-15-95

Labeling in English - (f)(9)

Language requirements on labels for labeling drums of hazardous materials for export

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(9)

Your questions concern clarification on labeling drums of hazardous materials for export. Generally, the labeling requirements for containers leaving the workplace apply whether they are packaged for singular or bulk container shipment. These requirements are listed in 29 CFR 1910.1200(f), and include a provision that all labels be legible and in English.

In terms of the interior drums in the workplace and where employees may be exposed to hazardous chemicals, OSHA requires labeling of individual drums in English. The Department of Transportation has enforcement authority over the labeling of outside shipping containers.

letter: TLeech 06-08-93

New Findings - (f)(11)

In the February 9, 1994, Amendments to the Final Hazard Communication Rule, a new section, paragraph (f)(11), has been added, which reads as follows:

"(11) Chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors, or employers who become newly aware of any significant information regarding the hazards of a chemical shall revise the labels for the chemical within three months of becoming aware of the new information. Labels on containers of hazardous chemicals shipped after that time shall contain the new information. If the chemical is not currently produced or imported, the chemical manufacturer, importer, distributor, or employer shall add the information to the label before the chemical is shipped or introduced into the workplace again."

Updating labels with new information: obligations of distributors

29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(11)

Regarding the updating of labels when new information becomes available, the warning would no longer be appropriate if the material data safety sheets (MSDSs) contained new hazard information that needed to be included on the label. Since the MSDSs must be updated within three months of receipt of new information, the label must be too, in order to accurately reflect the MSDSs information. Note that distributors have no affirmative obligation to create the container labeling information for hazardous chemicals which they merely send unchanged to their customers, but they do have the responsibility to obtain missing labels from the chemical manufacturer/importer. Distributors must duplicate label information on chemicals which they repackage.

CPL 2-2.38C: A-22&23 10-22-90

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