A label is any written, printed, or graphic material displayed on, or affixed to, containers of chemicals. 

Labels or other forms of hazard warnings, such as tags or placards, provide immediate warning of potential danger.  They are used to warn of a variety of potential physical hazards, or health hazards. 

OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard established minimum labeling requirements for most chemical containers in the workplace.  All chemical containers at the college shall be labeled according to

these OSHA requirements.  At a minimum, the container shall be labeled with: 

  • the contents of the container and common name of the chemical (chemical formulas and structural formulas are not acceptable) or trade name 
  • name and address of the manufacturer 
  • primary physical and health hazards (e.g., "eye irritant") 

Existing labels on new containers of chemicals or containers in storage shall not be removed or defaced. 

Employees and students shall not work with any chemical from an unlabeled container.  However portable containers intended for the immediate and exclusive use, by the employee or student performing the transfer, do not need to be labeled, if all the product is used up by the end of the work shift.  This labeling requirement also does not apply to students assigned unknown chemicals for analysis.  However, hazard information should be provided with all unlabeled chemicals in student laboratories. 

Carefully read all the information on the label.  If you do not understand something, contact your supervisor or instructor for an explanation or request the MSDS.

Gary Lee
Director of Environmental Health
4601 College Blvd.
Farmington, NM  87401
(505) 566-3063 or (505) 566-3190