The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for chemical labeling is one of the major regulatory breakthroughs of recent years, creating a system that supply chain participants around the world can turn to for guidance. As more countries have signed up for labeling systems that incorporate at least parts of the GHS standards, the U.S. and Canada among them, it's time to focus on the best ways to get GHS-compliant labels.
An in-house label printer is a great choice for independence and control, but given the tight regulatory environment around chemical production, these printers have to be of sufficient quality. Striking a balance efficiently and effectively creating labels on demand and keeping them up to standards is the essential task facing any chemical producer.
GHS in the US and Canada
Before zooming in on specific hardware options, it's worth looking at the big picture of compliance and remembering why the unified regulations are important. Working with GHS labeling, no matter where a company is in the world, requires a little customization and consideration of local twists on the basics. For example, OSHA noted that of the nine pictograms associated with the GHS, the agency's labeling system requires eight – though the ninth can be applied optionally.
The move to the GHS labeling system was touted as a major move toward greater safety, because when pictorial warnings are used in many different countries, the chances that workers will recognize them naturally become greater. OSHA and other bodies that have moved to incorporate GHS labeling have each contributed to this environment.
As ISSA noted, the U.S. and Canadian systems are close to one another – close enough that it is now possible to create labels that will work in either country. There are differences – for example, Canada requires French text on labels, whereas adding labels beyond English to U.S. labels is optional. By adding extra features to GHS labels, chemical producers can create widely applicable warnings and alerts for their programs.
A Good, Sturdy Printer
When seeking to create GHS-compliant labels, no matter where in the world a company is located, having the right printer is an essential part of the equation. The Epson ColorWorks GP-C831 can be this printer. With industrial-grade strength and a level of reliability that can reasonably deliver over a million labels over the asset's lifespan, this is a sturdy choice for chemical manufacturers to install in-house. The ink and label stock associated with the printer have been found in compliance with the BS5609 standard, making it a likely industrial choice.