There are two things that are imperative in every workplace that stores, uses or transports hazchem materials:
- Dangerous goods signs and labels
- Proper processes, training and equipment to handle and dispose of these materials
We’ve said it before and we will say it again… the most important thing in every workplace is safety. And while we may not be able to help with the second item above, we can certainly help with the first!
As a business owner or operator you have a responsibility (both legal and moral) to ensure that all your team members are safe.
And the most efficient way of making sure that your team are always conscious of and reminded of the dangers associated with the goods you handle is to make sure your workplace is kitted out with dangerous goods signs and labels in all the right places!
Which dangerous good signs and labels do you need?
It depends on what goods you carry!
The first thing you need to understand about dangerous goods signs and labels is that there are literally hundreds of different kinds of signs. How are you to know which ones you need?
Luckily, most dangerous substances come with a safety data sheet (SDS).
These sheets tell you everything you need to know about a substance:
- The dangers it poses
- Proper containment and disposal techniques
- Fire response (if relevant)
- Safe handling procedures
And most importantly for today’s subject, it also informs you about signage requirements.
Specifically, it will tell you:
- Whether the substance is dangerous
- What hazchem or dangerous goods category it falls into
- Mandatory signage requirements
Once you have all that information, it’s time to go shopping.
Our online sign shop stocks a huge range of dangerous goods signs and labels. On the off chance you can’t find the right sign, we can have one custom made, just for you!
Other workplace safety signs
So you’ve fitted your workplace out with all the required dangerous goods labels, hazchem signs and emergency information panels.
However, that isn’t the end of your signage “adventure!”
In many cases, you may have to complement your dangerous goods signs and labels with a range of other signs, such as…
Note that danger signs and dangerous goods signs aren’t the same thing!
While dangerous goods signs and labels are used to identify specific substances, danger signs are for highlighting a broader range of hazards that could pose a threat to somebody’s life.
By law the word ‘DANGER’ must be printed in white letters inside a red oval which is enclosed by black rectangle.
The information about the dangerous hazard will be printed in clear, black letters on a white background.
Warn guests and visitors of potential hazards with caution signs. Featuring an unmissable yellow colour, these signs are just what you need to warn people about hazards that are (thankfully) not life-threatening.
Emergency Information Panels (EIPs)
An Emergency Information Panel is arguably one of the most important types of workplace safety sign around, especially if you deal in chemicals.
Specifically, EIPs identify:
- The type of substance
- Its hazchem code
- The appropriate emergency response
What’s more, since they use internationally-recognised codes and pictographs, EIPs can be understood no matter where you are in the world!
Other things you need to know about handling dangerous goods
Always ensure different chemicals are stored and disposed of away from each other
Hazardous chemicals and materials should never be mixed under any circumstances, or exposed to other chemicals.
Simply put, it isn’t worth the risk, as in many cases, hazardous chemicals can react violently when they come into contact with each other and can quickly cause catastrophic damage to your workplace.
For an example, look no further than oxidising agents. While not flammable on their own, they can dramatically contribute to the combustibility of other substances, including flammable ones.
Needless to say, you’ll want to make sure both of these types of goods are as far from each other as possible!
Make sure everyone uses the right protective equipment
It’s incredibly important that when using or transporting these products that the appropriate protective equipment is worn.
That means goggles, thick rubber boots, masks, gloves and in some cases, even full suits.
Different chemicals and substances may require different levels of protection so it’s important to have all the correct information about the specific substances you are using and personal protective equipment (PPE) required.
And once you know what PPE is required, be sure to communicate it using mandatory signs!
The right way to move large containers of dangerous goods
In addition to storing dangerous goods, you may also need to learn how to safely transport them too!
For example, some substances need to be handled with extreme care and in some cases, highly-specific handling procedures (which you can communicate using a sign).
Luckily, the SDS swoops in to save the day once more, with plenty of actionable information explaining how substances should be safely transported.
Looking for dangerous goods signs and labels?
Signsmart has all the dangerous goods signs and labels you will ever need!
We stock every hazard sign and danger signs that you can think of – just take a flip through our online catalogue.
If you can’t find the specific signage that you are looking for? Don’t worry – give us a call and tell us what you need. We’ll create any custom signage that your workplace might need!
At Signsmart our main priority is keeping people safe while they are at work. It’s why we ensure all our team are educated on OHS law and the signs that different businesses need.
So, even if you are not sure what kind of signage you’re looking for, or unclear on your OHS obligations, we can still help.
Contact us today for a quick consultation with one of our signage experts and find out exactly which dangerous goods signs and labels you might need.