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GHS Compliant Label Solutions For Your Business

GHS Labeling Standards

GHS stands for "Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals," an international system developed by the United Nations. This system dates back to 1992 when development first began. GHS was designed to harmonize a vast array of similar, but different, international hazard classification and chemical labeling systems so that consistent criteria would be applied on a global scale.


Why are GHS Labeling Standards Required?

GHS labeling standards are but one small part of GHS. The GHS system classifies a number of physical, health, environmental, and mixtures thereof based on a specific set of criteria including the existing UN Dangerous Goods System. Hazardous substances or mixtures that meet GHS criteria must be communicated to virtually anyone who encounters that product including workers throughout the supply chain, transporters, first responders, and consumers. Product hazard data should also be communicated in more than one form. The most common communication methods are Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and GHS labels. GHS labels include standardized elements such as pictograms, signal words, hazard statements, precautionary statements, product identifiers, supplier identification, and supplemental information. GHS labels should be both standardized as well as easy to understand. As a product that meets GHS requirements moves through the supply chain — or even it becomes lost at sea, the GHS label could be the only safety information workers, first responders, and consumers have access to. This makes GHS labeling of utmost importance.

Who Needs to Comply with GHS Labeling Standards

The United Nations initially set an international implementation goal of 2008, though the time frame for adoption does vary from one country to the next. For example, in the United States, product manufacturers must adopt the standard by June 1, 2015 while product distributors have until December 1, 2015. Canada has set a June 1, 2015 deadline for GHS labeling of workplace chemicals while Australia has its own deadline of January 1, 2017. Some countries such as Korea and Japan have already implemented GHS labeling.

BS5609 Specifications

GHS labeling requirements cover hazardous goods whether they are shipped over land or sea. When shipped by sea, the GHS label must be able to withstand extend periods immersed in seawater. The British Standard 5609 (BS5609) is a marine immersion label testing specification for printed, pressure-sensitive adhesive coated labels and their base material. BS5609 specifies minimum requirements for label durability, adhesive performance, abrasion resistance, and print permanence; BS5609-certified labels have passed BS5609 testing which includes a three month immersion in saltwater. There are two parts to the BS5609 certification: one testing the label material; the other testing the printed information.

Why Use BS5609-Certified Labels for GHS Labeling Purposes?

Products subject to GHS labeling requirements are often shipped by sea. Should these drums fall overboard or otherwise become lost at sea, their labels must withstand long-term immersion in seawater so that they can serve as a warning to people who find them. Thus, BS5609 certification is a requirement for any self-adhesive drum labels subject to GHS standards. BS5609 is also required for those subject to International Maritime Dangerous Goods and Merchant Shipping Regulations.

What You Need to Print Your Own GHS BS5609 Labels

In order to print your own GHS BS5609 labels, you will need a GHS compliant color label printer along with BS5609-certified blank label stock. Argon Technology can help you find the right on-demand label printer to print your own GHS-compliant labels. We offer both inkjet and laser models as well as a large selection of BS5609 labels:

GHS-Compliant Inkjet Label Printers:

GHS-Compliant Laser Label Printers:

•              Afinia R635, Primera Technology: Primera CX1000 and Primera CX1200, iSys Label: iSys EDGE 850 and iSys APEX 1290, NeuraLog NeuraLabel 500e

Argon Technology: Your GHS Labeling Resource

Argon Technology can provide you with everything you need to print your own GHS-compliant labels including a GHS color label printer, BS5609-certified media, and all supplies. Browse our store or contact us for assistance.