Portable Containers In HazCom 2012

Portable containers for hazardous chemicals in the workplace can have NO labeling in only two situations, according to OSHA’s HazCom 2012 standard.

In less than three minutes, Dan Clark explains how a worker may transfer a hazardous chemical from an HCS 2012-labeled container to a container with no warning labels whatsoever. Seems odd, doesn’t it?

The current Hazard Communication Standard allows an employee to use a hazardous chemical in an unmarked container if (1) they are the only person to use it; and (2) only for the duration of their shift. Listen more more details.


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Dan Clark: OSHA’s revamping of chemical labels, HazCom 2012, is here. But do you need to label a portable container? I’ll tell you next.

Hello I’m Dan Clark with The Safety Brief. We go toe-to-toe with health and safety hazards in today’s demanding construction and industrial worksites, compliments of Creative Safety Supply.

HazCom 2012, The Hazard Communication Standard from OSHA and the alignment with the Globally Harmonized System, GHS, is here. It standardizes chemical warning labels. Portable containers are part of it.


It’s an unlabeled container. A hazardous chemical is transferred to it from a labeled container.

This portable container is intended only for the immediate use of the employee who performs the transfer. No label is required for this container in the workplace.

The term immediate use is very strict from OSHA. It means that the hazardous chemical will be under the control — and used only by — the person who transfers it from a labeled container. And only within the work shift in which it’s transferred.


• If the container will be used by more than one person;

• If the container will be used for more than one shift;

It is not a portable container.


• The container used by others or for more than one shift requires a workplace label.

• If the original container has a pictogram on it, then the same pictogram must be on the workplace label. But, HCS 2012 says that the pictogram does not need to have a red border. It can be a black border.

• You can even take a picture of the label on the original container, print it, and use that as the workplace label.

• The workplace label, according to the HCS 2012 standard, needs: The product identifier; the words, pictures, symbols or combination thereof, which provide at least general information regarding the hazards of the chemical.

That’s all for this episode, Portable Containers In HazCom 2012. Join me again for more ways to stay safety compliant in today’s always-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief. This is a service of Creative Safety Supply. (2:43)

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