Diversified Labeling Solutions


Hazardous materials communication. 

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 GHS Labels


Durable labels that meet the highest safety standards.

DLS UV printed labels are BS5609 certified for Section 2 and 3 compliance (Marine Immersion Label testing standard). The media, text, coloring, and images have passed resistant to abrasion, UV exposure and sea water immersion, among other standardized testing qualifications.


This certification allows DLS to create Globally Harmonized System (GHS) compliant labels. With chemicals being shipped all over the world, the GHS standard makes it safer to identify hazardous materials that are transported.


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 What is GHS?

GHS stands for the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.


GHS is a system to standardize the way hazardous materials are classified. The idea is that a standardized symbology on labels and containers will be used all over the world to determine if a material is flammable, toxic, corrosive, etc. With this standardization, a person is assured they know the hazardous nature of the product no matter where they are located in the world.  It also helps to minimize or prevent adverse effects of chemicals in the workplace through the standardized, universally recognized graphics.

 What is the BS5609 Certification?

BS5609 is an international standard of certification that measures the suitability of a specialized label for use on chemical containers for shipment over a body of water.

  • Section 2: This section of the certification deals with label performance. It tests the durability of the label’s material, ink and adhesion in marine exposure. Among the environments tested are temperature variables, salt spray, immersion tests and weathering.
  • Section 3: The BS5609 Section 3 compliance is only given to labels that are printed on a specified material and tested in use with a specified printer model or ink. If any of those factors are changed without testing, the label will no longer meet the compliance.          

Most importantly, understand that the BS5609 labeling certification means that if a chemical drum was to fall off a vessel into the ocean, the label needs to be readable after 30 days of immersion so that someone knows how to handle the possibly deadly chemical. These are the most durable labels around.



 Why GHS Labels Matter


Employees and companies need to know the hazards of workplace chemicals. This allows organizations to create safety procedures that prepare them for the possibility of chemical exposure. In the event of a chemical spill, large GHS Labels allow workers and first responders to read from afar instead of forcing to investigate in a potentially dangerous environment.


GHS Labels are easy to understand. It targets a wide variety of skill levels and breaks language barriers with the use of pictograms.

 The Basic Universal Pictogram System

There are 9 basic universal pictograms.

Here's what they look like and what they mean:


  1. Environmental
  2. Corrosive
  3. Acute Toxic
  4. Severely Toxic
  5. Explosive
  6. Flammable
  7. Oxidizing
  8. Health Danger
  9. Gas Pressure


 Anatomy of a GHS Label

1. Signal Words: Indicates relative level of hazard. “Danger” is used for the most severe instances, while “warning” indicates a less severe hazard.


2. Product Name or Identifiers: This lets readers know what the product or chemical name is. There may be more identifiers noted near the manufacturer’s information.


3. Hazard Statements: These phrases describe the nature of the hazardous product and often includes the degree of hazard.

4. Symbols (Pictograms): Symbols help convey health, physical and environmental hazard information with red diamond GHS pictograms. These symbols may be used in combinations of five pictograms.


5. Manufacturer Information: The contact information for the manufacturer is included on every GHS Label.


6. Precautionary Statements: Phrases associated with each hazard statement describe general, preventative, response, storage or disposal precautions.

 In-house Printing for GHS Labels

You may find that your customers print part of their GHS labels on-site during their packing process. There are many printer varieties used to print GHS labels. It’s important that you ask your customers what kind of printer they use so DLS can recommend the best label for their model. Here are some of the printer types your end-users may operate:



  • Laser (color)
  • Laser (monochrome)
  • Inkjet (color)
  • Thermal Transfer (2-color)
  • Thermal Transfer (1-color)


 Secondary Chemical Labeling System

DLS creates custom secondary chemical labels which are used when a chemical is moved from a primary source (like a drum) to a container such as a spray bottle, canister or glass jar. According to OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard, “Employers must ensure that no worker uses, stores, or allows any other person to use or store any hazardous substance in a laboratory if the container (including bags, barrels, bottles, boxes, cans, cylinders, drums and reaction vessels) does not meet the labeling requirements in [29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(1)].”


Two mandatory elements must be on every secondary label: 1) the name of the chemical in the secondary container and 2) the physical, health or environmental hazards. Although these labels are separate from GHS and BS5609 compliant labels, it is an important part of your customer’s workplace safety plan. So, be sure to ask about their secondary labeling systems. If they use GHS or BS5689 Section 2 and 3 compliant labels, they likely need these products as well. To learn more about secondary labels, please visit OSHA’s Quick Facts Guide.