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The Truth About GHS HazCom

By Graphic Products Editorial Staff

June 1, 2015 was an important date for American workplaces. That’s when all U.S. employers were required to incorporate HazCom 2012 compliant labels and signs on chemical containers. Similar labels are already in place around the world, under the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) from the United Nations.

HazCom 2012 compliance requires symbols, language and safety data sheet (SDS) information that match the GHS rules, but doesn’t require any tested durability standard for the label material, such as British Standard (BS) 5609. Similarly, the GHS rules don’t require BS 5609 certification for domestic usage. However, that’s not the whole picture.

BS 5609 certification for labels is required by the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code, EU chemical regulations like CLP and REACH, and other national and international standards for marine shipping and marine labeling. Because BS 5609 is such a highly regarded standard for label durability, it’s even referenced in some non-marine regulations, for labels that need to stand up to extreme weather.

Even if you don’t need the BS 5609 certification specifically, it provides a measure of security regarding label and sign safety and durability in the toughest environments.

Don’t Settle for Either / Or

Check around. You’ll find that some companies offer GHS solutions while others mention British Standard 5609 conformity or certification. It can be confusing. Here’s the truth.

Printer manufacturers may tout GHS and HazCom 2012 compliance through their software, but the supplies may not be BS 5609 certified.

On the other hand, some label manufacturers may boast that their supplies conform to British Standard 5609. That is not the same as BS 5609 certification. Certification tells you that the supply has actually been rigorously tested and approved by an authorized third party.

With the DuraLabel Catalyst, you are guaranteed GHS and HazCom 2012 compliance and officially notarized, third party BS 5609 certification.

Print Your Own GHS Labels

The DuraLabel Kodiak printer makes GHS and HazCom 2012 labeling easy because it uses our proprietary DuraSuite Software. DuraSuite has been upgraded to match current international GHS standards, as well as OSHA’s HazCom 2012 standards.

Certification testing included seawater immersion, accelerated artificial weathering, sand abrasion, artificial salt spray, and sunlight exposure, ensuring that the labels that pass the tests will stand up to the harshest environments.

Don’t settle for either/or. With DuraLabel, you get GHS and HazCom2012 labels easily and on-demand, with durable and reliable BS 5609-certified materials, in one package. Two problems, one solution - from the global leader in workplace labeling and signage.

Related GHS Resources