4.1.1. The competent authority, or a body approved or recognised by the competent authority, should establish requirements for the marking and labelling of chemicals to enable persons handling or using chemicals to recognise and distinguish between them, both when receiving and when using them, so that they may be used safely (see paragraph 2.1.8 (criteria and requirements)). Existing criteria for marking and labelling established by other competent authorities may be followed where they are consistent with the provisions of this paragraph and are encouraged where this may assist uniformity of approach.
4.1.2. Suppliers of chemicals should ensure that chemicals are marked and hazardous chemicals are labelled, and that revised labels are prepared and provided to employers whenever new relevant safety and health information becomes available (see paragraphs 2.4.1 (suppliers' responsibilities) and 2.4.4 (classification)).
4.1.3. Employers receiving chemicals that have not been labelled or marked should not use them until the relevant information is obtained from the supplier or from other reasonably available sources. Information should be obtained primarily from the supplier but may be obtained from other sources listed in paragraph 3.3.1 (sources of information), with a view to marking and labelling in accordance with the requirements of the national competent authority, prior to use.
4.2.1. All chemicals should be marked so as to indicate their identity.
4.2.2. The mark chosen should be such as to enable users to distinguish between chemicals during receipt, handling and use. Marking may be by chemical identity, common name, trade name, code name or number or other name, so long as the identity so established is unique and, in the case of a hazardous chemical, is identical to that used on the label and the chemical safety data sheet. Inclusion of the name of the supplier on the shipped container or packaging is recommended.
4.2.3. Waste chemicals should be marked as such.
4.2.4. The marking of chemicals may be impracticable because of the size of the container or nature of the package. They should, however, be readily identifiable by such means as tagging or accompanying documents.
4.2.5. Each container or layer of packaging should be marked. The particulars should always be visible on the container or package during each stage of the supply and use of the chemicals.
4.3.1. Hazardous chemicals should be labelled in accordance with national law and practice to give essential information, as well as the identity of the chemicals, in a way that is easily understood by the workers who are to use them (but see paragraph 4.3.6 regarding transport of chemicals where the information on the container or package may be different).
4.3.2. The purpose of the label is to give essential information on:
(a) the classification of the chemical;
(b) its hazards;
(c) the precautions to be observed.
The information should refer to both acute and chronic exposure hazards.
4.3.3. Labelling requirements, which should be in conformity with national requirements, should cover:
(a) the information to be given on the label, including as appropriate:
- trade names;
- identity of the chemical;
- name, address and telephone number of the supplier;
- hazard symbols;
- nature of the special risks associated with the use of the chemical;
- safety precautions;
- identification of the batch;
- the statement that a chemical safety data sheet giving additional information is available from the employer;
- the classification assigned under the system established by the competent authority;
(b) the legibility, durability and size of the label;
(c) the uniformity of labels and symbols, including colours.
4.3.4. Concentrations of solutions, individual isomers and components of petroleum distillates and reactive chemicals should be indicated where this is relevant to the characteristic properties of the chemical.
4.3.5. In the case of mixtures, any component present which is thought to contribute significantly to the characteristic properties of a mixture, or which is above a concentration limit approved or recognised by the competent authority, should be Indicated.
4.3.6. In the case of transport, similar information should be given in conformity with national requirements, taking account of the United Nations Recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods. The information given should not only inform the transporter of the chemicals but should also give readily understandable information to the emergency services in the event of an emergency, which would also be of use to the public in such an event.
4.3.7. In the case of waste, where full labelling is not practicable, the labelling should include the telephone number of any person able to give further advice on the likely composition of the waste and its potential risks.
4.3.8. The hazardous components of the waste should also be indicated where they are known, so far as this is practicable, and where they contribute to the characteristic properties of the waste or are above a concentration limit approved or recognised by the competent authority. Examples of cases where indicating the hazardous components may be practicable include those where:
(a) the material has been previously labelled and has not substantially altered before it was deemed to be waste;
(b) information has been obtained from any testing done;
(c) information has been derived from past experience.
The container or packaging should be appropriately labelled.
4.3.9. Labelling of hazardous chemicals may be impracticable because of the size of the container or nature of the package. It should, however, include the information required by paragraph 4.3.2 (purpose of label) by such means as tagging or accompanying documents. In these circumstances, all containers of hazardous chemicals should at least indicate the hazards of the contents by appropriate wording or symbols.
4.3.10. Each container or layer of packaging should be labelled. The particulars should always be visible on the container or package during each stage of the supply and use of chemicals.
4.3.11. Pesticide containers may also be labelled with additional information in accordance with applicable international guidelines, such as those of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on good labelling practice.
4.4.1. Employers should ensure that when chemicals are transferred into other containers or equipment, the contents are indicated in a manner which will make known to workers their identity, any hazards associated with their use and any safety precautions to be observed.
4.4.2. Where any chemicals are transferred into other containers or equipment for use on an employer's premises, the new containers or equipment should be marked for identification as indicated in (a) below. If such chemicals are hazardous, they should be labelled or some other indication given to enable workers to identify:
(a) the chemicals, e.g. by reference number, code or commonly used name known to all workers at the workplace;
(b) any associated hazards, e.g. by appropriate words or symbols;
(c) the safety precautions to be observed.
4.4.3. For some work activities, plant and equipment (e.g. reaction vessels or distillation columns) may process or handle a number of different chemicals. Where marking or labelling of individual plant and equipment is not practicable, because of changing circumstances, workers should be given information and instruction on the identity of the chemicals, the hazards associated with their use and the safety precautions to be observed. In addition, they should receive training in respect of these matters.