Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Chemical labelling

Our role is to develop and assist in the implementation of the UWA safety, health and wellbeing programs in order to minimise the risk of injury, illness and property damage.

We provide consultancy and other services to promote best practice and legislative compliance in all University and related activities.

Further information

  • Chem Alert
  • Surplus and unwanted chemicals

Correct labelling of all chemicals is critical to workplace safety, is a legal requirement and avoids costly disposal of unknown products.

There are different labelling requirements for hazardous and non-hazardous substances and also for chemical wastes.

Commercially available chemicals should be appropriately labelled by the manufacturer, and will not generally require relabelling. If a label is damaged, obscured, or chemicals are decanted into a new container or used to make a new solution, a new label is required. The procedure indicates information that is required for different types of chemical products, and how to print labels out.

  1. Labelling hazardous substances
  2. Labelling non-hazardous substances
  3. Labelling chemical wastes
  4. UWA chemical waste label templates

Labelling hazardous substances

Hazardous substances are required by law to be labelled with the following information:

  • signal word(s) and/or dangerous goods class label
  • product name, chemical name, United Nations Number, ingredients
  • risk phrases and safety phrases
  • directions for use*, first aid procedures and emergency procedures*
  • details of manufacturer or importer
  • expiry date (where relevant)* and reference to Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).

The above are required by law on the label of any hazardous substance in a container 500ml or 500g or larger. If the container is smaller than this the asterisked (*) information can be omitted from the label. If the container is too small to have a label attached (i.e. 1ml eppendorf), legislation requires that the label be tied to the container with string, or that the container is placed in an appropriately labelled outer container (refer to Occupational Safety and Health Regulations 1996 5.6 and National Code of Practice for the Labelling of Workplace Substances).

Labels containing the required information can be printed for chemicals using ChemAlert by:

  1. opening ChemAlert
  2. entering the chemical requiring a label into the terms to search box
  3. right-clicking on the product requiring a label and selecting view/print product report
  4. selecting the desired label size from the Report Type drop-down box
  5. clicking on the label setup button and selecting the desired number of labels
  6. and clicking view/print button.

ChemAlert labels can be printed onto Avery Parcel Label sheets which come in a variety of sizes (1, 4, 8 etc per A4 sheet) and types (laser, colour, clear, waterproof).

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Labelling non-hazardous substances

Since non-hazardous substances should pose little threat to personnel there have less stringent labelling requirements. Non-hazardous substances are required to be labelled with the following information:

  • full chemical name and concentration of constituents (abbreviations and chemical symbols/structures are not adequate)
  • name of the user and contact number
  • date
  • location (school/section, building, lab number).

Non-hazardous substances can be labelled with a label from ChemAlert. However, templates for printing labels of various sizes are available at the bottom of this page. These labels can be filled in electronically and printed onto label paper or printed and filled in by hand, providing a quick and easy solution to correctly labelling your non-hazardous substances.

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Labelling chemical wastes

All chemical wastes must be correctly labelled to ensure the safety of personnel and to prevent costly disposal of unknown substances. Waste containers should be labelled before waste is collected and as far as practicable chemical wastes should be segregated.

Segregating wastes is a good safe work practice and makes disposal of waste simpler and cheaper. Chemical wastes must be labelled with a completed UWA chemical waste label (available in various sizes) with the following information:

  • full chemical names and concentrations of all constituents (abbreviations and chemical symbols/structures are not adequate)
  • an indication as to whether the waste contains either hazardous substances or dangerous goods
  • the name of the user and contact number
  • the date over which waste was collected
  • the location from which the waste was collected (school/section, building, lab number).

Offsite chemical waste disposal is coordinated through Safety and Health for the University. Items that do not display a completed and correct UWA chemical waste label will not be collected.

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UWA chemical waste label templates

Non-hazardous substance label templates

Chemical waste label templates