Labeling for Workplace Safety

6 min read

When it comes to workplace safety, few resources are more commonly used than safety labels. Safety labels, often called safety stickers, allow you to convey a clear message in just moments. You can create these labels to be images or pictograms so that they can be instantly recognized, or have text on them to give key information about an item.

There are many different types of labels that convey a wide range of different information. Learning more about why labels are important for safety in the workplace will help you to decide when you can use them to get the benefits you need.

Different Types of Safety Labels

The list of different types of labels is seemingly endless. Most people are familiar with warning stickers that are placed on the bottles of toxic or otherwise dangerous chemicals. This is an example of a safety label that is put on a bottle at a facility for the benefit of the end consumer. There are also many options that are used for the people within the facility where they are made or used.

The following are just some of the more commonly used labels that can help to improve the safety of any facility:

  • Warning StickersWarning stickers will provide specific information about the item that they are attached to. This can be a chemical container, a storage container, or any number of other things.
  • Electrical Hazard Symbols – Using a label that includes the electrical hazard symbol will alert people in the area to the danger of an electrical shock, arc flash, or other related hazard.
  • Hazardous Material Labels – Hazardous materials are used in many facilities and present a real danger. HazMat labels can alert people to the presence of this danger so they can take the necessary precautions.
  • Personal Protection Equipment Labels – In areas where personal protection equipment (PPE) is needed, these labels can remind everyone to put it on, so they are kept safe.
  • Chemical Hazard Labels – If chemicals are being used in an area you should have labels that identify the type of chemical, the hazards associated with it, and much more.
  • Moving Equipment Labels – Moving equipment can present a real danger. Using labels to alert people to the fact that a piece of equipment may start moving will help them to avoid this hazard.
  • Indoor Traffic Labels – Using labels to let people know that indoor vehicles like high-lows, forklifts, and other things operate in the area can help to avoid accidents.
  • Floor Marking Signs & Labels – Labels do not just have to go directly on products. You can also make floor marking signs and labels to convey information. These signs can alert people to hazards that may be present in a given area.
  • Label Materials – Another thing to consider is what materials the labels are made of. For some situation, simple paper-based labels are fine. For longer lasting labels, you can print them off using vinyl materials that can stand up to the elements and other challenges.

Of course, there are many other types of labels that you can create or purchase. The important thing is to have access to the labels you need, and to know where they should be placed in order to get the results that you are looking for.

Where Safety Labels are Used

Safety labels can be used in many different areas. Anywhere that there is a hazard in the workplace can benefit from this type of warning label system. As mentioned above, they can be placed on the floors of areas so that people can see them when traveling through and be alerted to a specific danger that may be there.

Labels can also be placed on the walls in an area and function just like signs. It is quick and easy to create or buy labels, which makes these a perfect option. Another great place where signs and labels like this can be used is directly on machinery. Machinery is often going to have hazards associated with it, so putting the labels right on them will help people to be aware of the danger so they can take the necessary precautions.

Another place where they can be is on the doors or entrance to an area where a hazard exists. For example, if you have a room filled with electrical equipment, you may want to put a label on the door reminding people that this room is very dangerous. Another label could be used to tell people that they must wear personal protection equipment when entering.

Of course, the most popular place where safety labels are used is directly on the containers that store hazardous chemicals or other materials. Letting people know what is in a container when it is dangerous is the best way to make sure that nobody opens it without taking the needed precautions.

In many cases, containers actually have to have safety data sheet (SDS) labels on them. These SDS labels will provide the necessary information that is required by various regulations to be available to the people working with or around hazardous materials.

Required Safety Labels

There are many times when organizations and governmental agencies put out recommendations or required safety labeling. Whether the requirement is a legal obligation from an agency like OSHA, or a simple requirement in order to be in compliance with a recognized organization, it is important to put in the effort to comply.

One common example of this is with safety data sheets and the labels that go along with them. SDS labels have to have specific information about the chemicals that are being used within your facility. If you use any type of hazardous chemicals, they must be labeled properly to make sure those who work with or around them are aware of the dangers. These labels should also provide at least basic information about how to respond to a spill or other event.

Another example would be the GHS labels. GHS, or globally harmonized system of classification and labeling of chemicals, are seen in many locations and are often even recognized by people outside of manufacturing. These labels are typically diamond shaped and have a red outline and a black pictogram in the middle. The pictogram alerts people to the specific hazards that are present with the chemicals on the container that is labeled.

These types of labels and signs are often required around the world whenever creating, storing, using, or shipping dangerous chemicals.

There are also situations where it is necessary to label pipes, electrical panels, valves, and many other things. This is because it is widely recognized that proper labeling of potentially hazardous areas is a great way to alert people to the danger so that they can take proper precautions.

Creating Custom Safety Labels

Having the right safety labels for your facility is important. Commonly used labels are often available from various suppliers that can create them and ship them to your facility at a fair price. This, however, can take some time to get done.

Creating custom safety labels and signs is a faster way to get what you need. In addition, with custom labels you can print off the exact style you need, and in the precise quantity that you will use. In the end, this can save you a lot of time and money compared to ordering from a third-party print shop.

Most custom safety labels can be made using either a thermal printer or an industrial label printer. Both of these types of printers are used around the world to print labels on-demand as they are needed. The printers often come with software that has all the most common types of safety labels pre-designed so they can be printed off in just a few clicks. Of course, you can also use the software to build your own custom safety label designs as you need them.

Depending on what model you purchase, it may also be possible to create larger signs that can be applied to the wall, machines, or anything else.

When creating your custom safety signs and labels it is important to follow all industry standards. For example, following the ANSI z535 or ANSI z535 4 standards for the colors and other details used in labels is important. This will help you to have the same designs and styles as are used in facilities throughout the world. Of course, it will also help to ensure you are compliant with the various requirements when it comes to labeling different things throughout your facility.

Focusing on Safety Labels

Safety labels are used in just about every industry from manufacturing to warehousing to medical, and many others. Understanding where they are used, when they are required, and how to make them for your business is essential.

Perhaps more importantly, however, is making sure that you have trained your team on where safety labels are needed, and what they mean. Investing your time into the training and making sure that you are able to produce custom labels will help you to ensure you are always in compliance and that your facility is operating as safely as possible.

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