When filling out hazardous waste signs labels, you must follow a set of guidelines that have been put into place by federal and state regulatory agencies. These guidelines include:
Below we’ll explore these requirements so that, as a hazardous waste generator, you can ensure your company is meeting all hazardous waste label requirements.
Perhaps the most important part of a hazardous waste label or sign is that it must say “Hazardous Waste” on it. Avoid any label or sign that simply says “waste” or only features the name of the substance inside the container.
While that is useful information, per the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the tank or container that is holding the waste must be labeled or clearly marked with the words, “Hazardous Waste.”
As a hazardous waste generator, you must record the date on the label upon which each period of accumulation begins. Pursuant to Title 22, California Code of Regulations, this date must be clearly marked and visible for inspection on each accumulation unit.
There are a couple important points to remember regarding what the DTSC requires for accumulation dates:
On your hazardous waste label, the DTSC requires you to include the following information about the substance that is inside the container:
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) also requires that you include a diamond hazard label for the primary (and most subsidiary) hazard classes of the hazardous material.
The DTSC requires that each hazardous waste label include the name and address of the generator.
For shipments of hazardous material, the DOT also requires that each non-bulk package (maximum capacity no more than 119 gallons) to display, at a minimum:
While the above requirements cover nearly all areas of filling out hazardous waste labels, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also requires that the generator “mark each hazardous waste container with a capacity of 119 gallons or less with the following words and information”:
HAZARDOUS WASTE - Federal Law Prohibits Improper Disposal. If found, contact the nearest police or public safety authority or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Generator’s Name and Address _____________.
Generator’s EPA Identification Number __________________.
Manifest Tracking Number ___________________.
In addition to the requirements we outlined above, it is important to keep in mind a few other tips for properly filling out hazardous waste labels.
Even when labels are properly filled out, they must be properly displayed as well so handlers do not miss this important information. For example:
While label requirements are regulated, the labels themselves are not. Therefore, you can use any label that meets the requirements above.
However, while several sites offer pre-printed labels, these can be costly and inconvenient, especially if you need the labels quickly. You can help ensure compliance right away, however, by downloading IDR’s free hazardous waste labels for your storage containers.
These labels are compliant with EPA, DOT and DTSC regulations and can be simply downloaded and printed.
There are several other online sites that offer free labels as well, but it is important that with any download or purchase, that you ensure the labels are compliant so that your company is following all necessary regulations and maintaining the highest level of safety in your workplace.