New legislation controlling the way chemicals and hazardous substances are packaged has been introduced and workplace equipment supplier Slingsby is advising organisation across all industries, to be aware of the changes that cover a vast range of products.
Under the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) of Substances and Mixtures Regulations, all household and industrial chemical products must display revised hazard symbols that are part of the Global Harmonisation System. In addition they must be accompanied by updated Safety Data Sheets.
The new CLP regulations replace the Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2009 and all chemical manufacturers have had to abide by them since 1st June 2015. However, distributors and users of the products have until 1st June 2017 before they have to use or dispose of any substances that still display the old style labelling.
Slingsby supplies more than 35,000 workplace products across all industries, including a wide range of chemical storage and transportation equipment. The company’s Group Sales and Marketing Director, Lee Wright, explains: “A huge range of everyday products come under this new legislation including bleach, paints, inks, glues and even scented candles so it’s important to be aware of it because it applies to nearly all workplaces across every industry. The idea of the changes is to create a set of easily recognisable symbols that are standardised throughout the world.
“The new CLP hazard labels feature nine pictograms that look similar to the old labels but the familiar orange backgrounds have been replaced with black symbols, in red diamond shaped boxes on white backgrounds. High-risk products will also display the words ‘danger’ or ‘warning’ on the labels and new disposal phrases have also been added.
“The main symbols identify substances that are toxic, flammable, explosive, corrosive and cause skin and eye irritations as well as environmental damage. There are also a couple of new ones for products containing pressurised gas or substances that are known to cause serious longer term health problems hazards such as carcinogenicity and respiratory diseases.”
Finally, Lee adds: “Workplaces that use these substances still have approximately 12 months to use up any products that feature the old labelling but any organisations that hold large stocks of chemical products need to stay on top of their stock rotation and ensure they use the old products first.”