Hazardous waste labels are critical to ensuring the safety of workers and avoiding costly fines.
That’s why knowing where to find them - and the information they should contain - is crucial. Improper labeling can lead to costly violations of strict state and federal waste management guidelines. Yet many companies do not follow hazardous waste label requirements.
In fact, improper labeling is one of the most frequent violations issued.
Despite the importance of hazardous waste labels, however, there is no need to waste money ordering them online and waiting for them to ship. Instead, free hazardous waste labels are offered online and can be downloaded and printed at your convenience or when the need arises.
In other words, buying a standard office label and slapping it on to your hazardous waste drum simply won’t do, and in the end, can cost you significantly more than a free label available with the click of a mouse.
Below we’ll share where to find free printable hazardous waste labels and what you should look for to determine whether they meet federal and state regulations.
Where To Get Free Printable Labels
While several sites offer pre-printed labels, these can be costly and inconvenient, especially if you need the labels quickly.
You can help ensure your compliance right away, however, by using IDR’s free hazardous waste labels on your storage containers.
These labels are compliant with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. Simply download the label and print it out. After filling in the correct information, which we will explore in the next section, attach the label to a storage container.
There are several other sites online that offer free labels as well. However, with any site you download labels from or make a purchase from you should ensure the labels you choose are in compliance with EPA and DOT regulations.
What Labels Should Include
Before you download a printable hazardous waste label, it’s important to understand what elements the label should include so that you can ensure you company is in compliance with any labeling requirements.
Here is where hazardous waste labeling can get tricky. Depending on where you are located, you may have local and state requirements you must follow - in addition to what is set forth by the EPA and DOT. Even certain industries may require or suggest additional information on a label.
It’s critical that you know any label requirements for your particular state and municipality.
Here is some of the information you will need to know and provide on a hazardous waste label:
- Generator information, such as name, address and phone number
- EPA ID number and a manifest tracking number
- EPA waste number and, if in California, a California waste number
- An accumulation start date
- Contents and their composition
- The physical state of the contents
- Hazardous properties (flammable, toxic, corrosive, reactivity, etc.)
- The DOT proper shipping name
Our articles, Hazardous Waste Label Requirements You Need To Know and How To Label Hazardous Waste, go into much further detail about label requirements and standards set forth by the:
- California Department of Toxic Substances Control
- U.S. Department of Transportation
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Additional industry best practices
It’s important to mention as well that best practice calls for personnel to use the same method to label containers. This may include the use of prepared labels. Downloading the same hazardous waste label and using it on all of your drums and containers will provide consistency and help ensure employees are familiar with the label they are completing.
Where Labels Should Go
Where labels are placed on the container after you download and print them also is regulated.
In general, labels must appear in their entirety and should not be placed near any other markings or labels to avoid being missed.
For example, the DOT recommends a 6-inch space between labels if there are more than one on a container. The primary hazard label should also be placed above and to the left of the subsidiary hazard label.
Labels should not be placed on the bottom of containers (where they can be missed), and workers should remove any old labels before reusing containers. In some cases, you can use a “recurring use label” to revise information on the labels as needed, such as the initial accumulation date. (Workers should place labels on the containers or update the initial accumulation date when waste if first placed in the container.)
Following proper procedures to be in compliance and ensure the safety of your employees doesn’t have to be costly.
In fact, hazardous waste labels that offer information regulated by state and federal governments can quickly be found on the internet, downloaded and printed for the cost of the ink and paper used.
IDR’s free hazardous waste labels help you comply with state and federal regulations put into place to maintain a safe workplace and community.