Safety Labels Save Lives – Preventing Workplace Accidents with HCL Labels

Safety: the state of being safe; freedom from the occurrence of risk of injury, danger, or loss.

When HCL Labels was formed in the early 1990’s, the mission was to protect the workforce from work-related hazards through proper, compliant, and up-to-date signs and labels. Nearly thirty-years later, HCL stands by our initial goal.

HCL Labels exists for the sole purpose of protecting workers from hazardous working conditions. We are an organization that is extremely proud to offer a product that prevents injuries, accidents, and saves lives. Pretty cool, we know.


Hazard Communications & Safety

HCL’s library of over 70,000 compliant signs & labels all communicate a specific work-related hazard. From some of our more unorthodox signs such as Warning: Bull, to more recognizable labels such as the NFPA 704 Diamond and Acetone, our products are meant to fit in any workplace.

The underlying message that guides communicating workplace hazards is OSHA’s right-to-know law. Employees have the right-to-know the potential health and physical hazards of workplace chemicals, equipment, and other harmful materials.

Through workplace practices and planning of hazard communications, employers provide their workers with the means to visualize and understand associated hazards.

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Proper Signs & Labels

Placing relevant, highly-visible, and proper safety messages around your facility will ensure that employees practice their right-to-know. We at HCL believe that accidents can always be prevented and avoided.

Accident prevention is possible. Through high-quality and consistent training, as well as clear messages (signs & labels) throughout your facility, you put your company in the best situation to prevent accidents before they happen.

Join us in our mission to save lives, one label at a time. 

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HCL Labels, Inc.

Prepare Your Facility for 2018 – OSHA/GHS Compliance, Updates, & More

Is your facility prepared for 2018? Here are a few preparations to make for your work facility & written HazCom program for the New Year.

OSHA/GHS Compliance

With the now two-year OSHA-GHS alignment in motion, the expectation for HazCom compliance is increasing in 2018. OSHA inspectors will be looking for a harmony between facility hazard communication programs and chemical label consistency.

Staying on top of a written hazard communication program is necessary for employees to understand it. Here are 6 steps to follow for an effective hazard communication program in your workplace, that will help ensure HazCom label consistency.

Chemical Library Organization

Are you providing employees with the right-to-know the hazards related to chemicals in the workplace? Pertinent to a clear hazard communication program, is an organized chemical library.  When the calendar shifts to 2018, put in the time to organize your facility chemicals and ensure that they are properly labeled.

Stocking up on GHS labels will warrant an effective label program for your chemicals. Additionally, including a chemical organization plan in your written hazard communication program will assure that your employees maintain the chemical library.

Hazardous chemical identification is a factor that OSHA inspectors will look for when auditing your workplace.

Hazardous Waste Update

Federal regulation 49 CFR 172.301 requires an updated format for Hazardous Waste Marking and Communication. All hazardous waste labels at HCL have been updated per regulations for the new format. Each label must include a space for the UN number that is no smaller than 12mm. See more here.

The Leading Source for GHS Chemical Safety Labels – Long Lasting Durability

HCL Labels, Inc. is the leading source for hazard communication OSHA/GHS chemical safety labels. Offering the largest online library of ready-made safety labels that are built to adhere and resist solvents.

HCL Labels, Inc. offers the largest library of GHS Chemical Safety Labels, with over 700 ready-made options to choose from, as well as an easy custom design process at no additional cost.

Back in January, HCL Labels switched to a stronger material for our GHS chemical safety labels. In doing so, we struck a balance between how hard our customers work, and how our labels work for our customers.

We put the 3M adhesive vinyl with chemical and solvent resistant laminate through various tests, and the material stood strong against Acetone, Dichloromethane, and other tough solvents.

HCL holds ongoing material tests at our Scotts Valley office. After seven months (since the testing began) of simulating spills, drips, and even dishwasher tests, the labels look as though they were printed yesterday.

HCL Labels would like to invite our customers to push the limits of the material. We’re confident that our GHS Labels will withstand anything you put them through.


These OSHA Safety Labels are really sticky!

One test in particular that highlights the quality of our product is the dishwasher test. We’ve washed secondary chemical containers in regular and commercial dishwashers with our GHS Labels still on them. After each wash, the labels came out unaffected.

This extreme durability proves that our labels work as hard as our customers do. The 3M adhesive vinyl with laminate holds against solvents that melt most materials.

We’re confident that our GHS Labels will last through the harsh work conditions you put them through.

Go ahead–test it. We’d love to hear your experience with pushing the limits of our durability.

Are you GHS Compliant?

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Aligning the Hazard Communication Standard with GHS

Why & How GHS Impacts the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard.

The sole purpose of the OSHA/GHS alignment is to provide consistent and quality information to workers, and employers about the hazards associated with chemicals. The GHS creates a standardized approach for classifying, identifying, labeling, and safety-data-sheets. The standard initiates a criteria for hazard classification and identification, according to the associated health and physical hazards.

With GHS already in place, secondary container labels are required to include signal words, pictograms, and hazard and precautionary statements. Safety data sheets additionally have standardized format.

Why the HazCom Standard was modified.

With employee safety and worker comprehension in mind, the hazard communication standard was modified in order to improve the quality and consistency of the information about chemical hazards. This modification will improve the appropriate handling and use of chemicals in the workplace.

The standardized format of GHS labels and SDS’s allows workers to easily access and understand information that pertains to chemical hazards.

Major HazCom Changes.

-Labels: Chemical labels are required to contain a harmonized signal work, pictogram, hazard statement for each hazard class, as well as precautionary statements. HCL Labels offers a format that also includes the NFPA.

-SDS: SDS’s are required to have a specific 16-section format. This now makes the MSDS outdated.

-Training: GHS does not include training; however, is requires workers to be informed and trained within two years of the publication.


Prepare your facility for your 2018 inspection by updated your GHS chemical safety labels from HCL.

Facts on aligning the hazard communication standard to the GHS. web. 3/22/18.



OSHA & Silica Dust Enforcement in 2018

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration is increasing their enforcement of Silica Dust regulations in 2018.

The process of cutting and grinding materials that contain crystalline silica particles, there is an extreme health risk to the employee that is exposed. The microscopic dust  particles created when working with these materials, known as silica dust, can cause severe health issues such as lung disease & cancer.

Materials such as sand, concrete, & stone contain silica components, and employees in the construction, fracking, glass, ceramics, & foundry sectors are at risk of exposure. OSHA has implemented safety standards that will take effect in June 2018 to increase the enforcement of silica-related-hazards in the workplace.

OSHA’s new lower permissible exposure level (PEL) has been created in order to regulate levels of silica dust exposure to employees.

What you need to know.

The silica dust regulation reduces the PEL to 50 micrograms of silica per cubic meter (50 µg/m3) of air over an 8-hour time-weighted average. The regulation sets forth an “action level” of 25 µg/m3 over the same time frame.

“Employers across all industries must demonstrate that workers will not be exposed to silica related hazards at or above that level in ‘any foreseeable circumstances’ (Safety BLR, 2018).”

How do I communicate silica hazards?

In order to communicate silica dust related hazards to employees in the workforce, a written hazard communication is key. Implementing a silica dust communication segment in your written HazCom program is a way to ensure proper label compliance.

HCL Labels offers a wide variety of silica dust hazard labels, and will be adding more to our website in the months to come.

Shop Silica Labels


Safety Summit 2018 – OSHA to begin enforcement of silica dust general industry rule. Web. 2/12/18

Know This Before Your 2018 Safety Inspection – GHS Labels

Understanding GHS Label Components.

Before your 2018 safety inspection, review the components of an OSHA compliant secondary container label.

Now two years into the OSHA – GHS alignment, the expectation for chemical identification compliance has increased in this New Year.

GHS Label Components.

In order for a chemical label to be an OSHA compliant secondary container label, it must contain a product identifiersignal wordhazard statements, precautionary statements, and pictograms.

The product identifier acts as a title for the label and identifies which chemical is in use. The signal word is used to represent chemical hazards and indicates the level of relative severity. Danger indicates a higher level hazard than Warning.

Hazard and precautionary statements are written descriptions of the hazards present, as well as precautions to take when working with the chemical.



Pictograms are symbols that are representative of the hazards contained in a chemical. created by the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. Pictograms are used for the labeling of containers that contain workplace hazards. Each pictogram is representative of a hazard (flammable, corrosive, toxic, etc).


SDS Consistency.

OSHA/GHS Labels must be written to the Safety-Data-Sheet of the chemical in use. SDS’s contain comprehensive information regarding the hazardous chemicals. Note: SDS’s are an updated version of the now out-dated MSDS.

If you have any additional questions regarding GHS label components, please contact us!


OSHA Reports 7% Increase In Work-Related Injuries

From 2015-2016, OSHA Reports a 7% Increase in Work-Related Fatalities & Injuries.

According to an OSHA report, work-related fatalities rose in 2016 by 7%. The number of fatalities in 2016 were greater than in 2015. The fatal injury rate rose to 3.6 per 100,000 full-time employees, up from 3.4 per 100,000 the year prior (Smith 2017).

“Today’s occupational fatality data show a tragic trend with the third consecutive increase in worker fatalities in 2016 – the highest since 2008. America’s workers deserve better,” says Loren Sweatt, assistant secretary for the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

“OSHA is committed to finding new and innovative ways of working with employers and employees to improve workplace safety and health. OSHA will work to address these trends through enforcement, compliance assistance, education and training and outreach,” Sweatt reports.

The increase in work-related fatalities & injuries for the third consecutive year highlights the dangers of the workplace. There has been a decline in OSHA inspectors in the last few years due to federal budget-cuts. The less-than 800 inspectors aren’t able to inspect every working industry.

All employers must take the necessary steps in their facilities to maintain a safe-working environment. Compliance with Federal-OSHA regulations carries an extreme weight and importance in terms of not just compliance, but protection.

HCL Labels works with companies in providing their employees with the right-to-know about chemical hazards in the work-place. Understanding GHS regulations goes a long way in providing your employees with a written hazard communication program that will protect themselves. Come back later in January to view the components of a GHS Label that you will need to know before your 2018 safety inspection.

Protect the workforce and remain compliant



Source: Smith, Sandy. 19 December 2017. Are American workers in danger? OSHA reports dramatic increase in fatal occupational injuries. EHS Today. Web. 5 January 2018.

Misinformation Regarding Manufacturer Information on GHS Labels

OSHA Regulations for secondary container label requirements are often misunderstood.

There is a common misconception that exists regarding secondary container label requirements. The confusion lies within the definition of primary and secondary chemical containers, respectively.

According to the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, also known as HazCom [29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)], primary and secondary containers are defined differently and contain different label requirements.

Primary chemical containers are shipped to a location from the supplier/manufacturer of the chemical. Primary containers, also known as permanent, arrive with a label on them. The label on the primary containers include the manufacturer information.

When the larger drum of chemicals arrives, it is broken up into smaller containers for employee use. These smaller containers are known as secondary, or portable containers. The HazCom Standard indicates conditions that must be met that requires a secondary label, found here.

Given that conditions are met that would require a secondary identification, the HazCom standard says the labels “must contain two key pieces of information: the identity of the hazardous chemical(s) in the container, and the hazards present (OSHA 2015).” 

This amendment to the HazCom standard is often overlooked. All secondary container GHS chemical safety labels are NOT required to include the manufacturer information. HCL’s library of GHS labels do not contain any manufacturer information.

HCL Labels is happy to include any custom information that you would like on your labels. Contact us today if you would like to include manufacturer information!

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For more information regarding OSHA secondary container label requirements, please review the Quick Facts sheet here.