5. Labelling

5.1 Legal Requirements

The Queensland Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 Hazardous Chemicals requires suppliers to upgrade hazardous substances labelling to include product names, risk phrases, safety phrases and chemical names of Type 1 and Type 2 ingredients. (Type 1 and Type 2 ingredients are defined in the Regulations.)

All containers of hazardous substances supplied to, used in or handled in the University must be appropriately labelled to allow the substances to be used safely. Containers of hazardous substances should be labelled in accordance with the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011  Hazardous Chemicals.

5.2 Label Content

The label on a container of a hazardous substance must contain a minimum of:

  • Must be written in English
  • Product name
  • Risk and safety phrases
  • Chemical name of a Type 1 or Type 2 ingredient or the generic name of a Type 2 ingredient declared commercially confidential.

An ideal label should include the information shown below.

Ideal Label Content

  • Must be written in English
  • Signal word/dangerous goods class and subsidiary risk label where applicable
  • Product identification information
     -  product name
     -  chemical name
     -  United Nations number (where required by the Australian Dangerous Goods (ADG) Code)
     -  ingredients and formulation details
  • Risk and safety phrases
  • Directions for use
  • First aid procedures
  • Emergency procedures
  • Details of manufacturer/supplier
  • Expiry date if relevant
  • Reference to the SDS

All hazardous substances delivered to, or in use at any University work site must be checked to ensure that the labelling is in accordance with the regulations. 

Where possible, delivery of inadequately labelled goods should not be accepted. Where delivery is accepted, goods must be adequately labelled before they are used.  The manufacturer, or importer should be contacted to supply a new label or a label may be produced from the Chemwatch computer system.

No person is to remove, deface, modify or alter a correct label.

5.2.1 Manufacturing of labels

Labels produced by the University must comply with the Workplace Health and Safety  Regulations 2011 Hazardous Chemicals.  Chemwatch has provisions to generate labels for containers of various sizes that comply with the Compliance Standard.

Where the container is so small that the label cannot be placed on the actual container, the label can be attached by other means - for example by a string around the neck of the container. 

Labels should be in colours that provide sufficient contrast to the background.  Lettering should be of a size and style that is readily legible and in the English language.

5.3 Decanting

Where a hazardous substance is decanted, the container into which the substance is decanted requires labelling.  The container must be thoroughly cleaned after use and must no longer contain the hazardous substance.  The label must be removed after cleaning.

The substance decanted must be labelled with a minimum of:

  • product name
  • risk and safety phrases
  • chemical name of a Type 1 or Type 2 ingredient

Where the container into which a substance is decanted is small or has insufficient room for a label, then the label must be attached to the container or supporting device. For example in the case of a test tube, the label may be attached to the test tube rack.

The container must remain correctly labelled until it no longer contains the hazardous material.

Under no circumstances are food or drink containers to be used for the decanting or storage of any hazardous or non-hazardous substance.  Storage must never be in a refrigerator where food and drink products (or food and drink containers) are placed.

5.4 Unlabelled Containers or Unknown Contents

Where the contents of any unlabelled container is unknown the container should be labelled with an international standard black and yellow label marked:

 "Caution do not use: unknown contents"

Store the container away from other materials and contact USQSafe to arrange identification and/or disposal.  Disposal should follow consultation with the Toowoomba City Council or the Waste Management Branch of the Qld Department of Environment and Heritage.

Refer also to Section 8 - Waste Disposal.

5.5  USQSafe Contact

Manager (USQSafe)

5.6 Status

Published October 1998
Reviewed October 2009
Reviewed October 2012

5.7 References

Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)

Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 Hazardous Chemicals (Qld)

Hazardous Chemicals Code of Practices 2003