Home Podcasts THMG079 – Placards and Labels, Part II

THMG079 – Placards and Labels, Part II


In the second episode of this two-part series, Bob and Mike conclude their discussion of placards and labels.

Complete Show Notes

2:40 What Are Labels?

  • Labels look like placards, but they go on packages (rather than vehicles)
  • What gets labeled and how much requires a label are different
  • One notable difference is with Class 7 labels for radioactive I and II materials – these are for low-activity packages only and don’t have a placard counterpart
  • Packages with these labels are in transit every day – you can find them inside FedEx trucks, even though there aren’t placards indicating radioactive materials on the outside of the truck itself

5:10 UN Numbers on Orange Panels

  • Bright orange rectangle with a UN number displayed in black
  • Corresponding placard beside each label
  • Displayed on tank cars, cargo tanks, portable tanks, and other types of bulk packaging
  • They can also be found on transport vehicles and freight containers with varying weights of non-bulk packages
  • This can be anything from a tank truck to an intermodal tank on a trailer to a box trailer loaded with items for Home Depot

10:15 GHS Labeling and You

  • GHS stands for the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals
  • This system isn’t a regulation or a standard
  • Born out of a mandate created at the 1992 United Nations “Earth Summit” that was designed to further the environmentally sound management of chemicals worldwide
  • Also provides the so-called building blocks of hazard classification and communicating those hazards to countries that may not have standards in place
  • These labels have more information than an NFPA 704 diamond – the NFPA 704 diamond is specifically designed for emergency responders and those who plan for emergency response
  • GHS system designed to inform workers about the chemicals they work around normal and how to handle any foreseeable emergencies

13:35 More on GHS Labels

  • There’s no standard layout, but there is a standard regarding the information that has to appear on the label, along with a standard set of pictograms and hazard classes
  • For NFPA 704, the number 4 is the most hazardous – in the GHS, the number 4 is the least hazardous
  • The GHS also includes the name, address, and contact information of a responsible party – this can be very helpful to your resource officer
  • GHS labels are usually on materials imported from foreign sources – however, something meant for export may also be set up with this kind of label

16:30 Learn More

  • 49 CFR, Part 172, Subparts D, E, and F contain the nuts and bolts of placarding, labeling, and marking
  • Reference DOT Chart 14 for pictures
  • OSHA also has a free PDF on their website of the entire GHS “Purple Book”

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