NFPA Labeling Guide

The NFPA 704 standard protects the health and safety of individuals who respond to fire and chemical emergencies in facilities or storage locations where the hazards of materials are not readily apparent or known. The standard addresses the health, flammability, instability and related hazards that are presented by short-term, acute exposure to a material during a fire, spill or other emergency-related condition. NFPA 704 is a simple, recognizable and easily understood marking system that provides a general idea of the severity of the hazards of a material. The standard applies to industrial, commercial and institutional facilities that manufacture, process, use or store hazardous materials.

Hazard Symbols
A system of categories, colors and numbers was created to provide basic hazard information. It enables firefighters and other emergency personnel to easily decide whether or not to evacuate an area or proceed with emergency control operations. The three principal categories of identification are Health, Flammability and Instability. A numerical range of “0 to 4” indicates the severity of the hazard. A “4” indicates the most severe and a “0” indicates a minimal hazard. The information is presented in a color and spatial arrangement of the numerical ratings: Health Hazard, blue, at the 9 o’clock position; Flammability Rating, red, at the 12 o’clock position; and the Instability Rating, yellow, at the 3 o’clock position. Alternately, the square-on-point field is permitted to be any contrast of color. If this is the case, then the numbers themselves must be colored coded. The fourth space at the 6 o’clock position is reserved for indicating unusual reactivity with water. It is designated by the letter “W” with a line through the center. No special color is associated with this symbol. If the space isn’t needed to indicate reactivity with water, only then can the space be used to indicate other unusual hazards. For example, materials that possess oxidizing properties are identified by the letters “OX”.

What Needs To Be On a Label
Chemical manufacturers or distributors must provide the following information on chemicals that leave their facility: Identity of the hazardous chemical(s), appropriate hazard warnings, and name and address of the chemical manufacturer, importer or other responsible party. [29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(i)] The employer shall ensure that each container of hazardous chemicals in the workplace is labeled, tagged or marked with the following information: Identity of the hazardous chemical(s) contained therein and appropriate hazard warnings. [29 CFR 1910.1200(f)(5)]

Please ensure the entire label is complete.

but requires a strong initiating source or must be heated under confinement before initiation. Must be moderately heated or exposed to relatively high temperature before ignition can occur. Short exposure could cause serious temporary or residual injury even though prompt medical attention was given. Exposure under fire conditions would offer no hazard beyond that of ordinary combustible materials. but can become unstable at elevated temperatures and pressures or may react with water with some release of energy. Intense or continued exposure could cause temporary incapacitation or possible residual injury unless prompt medical attention is given. This indicates a potential hazard using water to fight a fire involving this material. There are only two NFPA 704 approved symbols: OX This denotes an oxidizer. Materials that will not burn. Capable of detonation or explosive reaction. Normally stable.NFPA Labeling Guide Health Hazard 4 3 2 1 0 4 3 2 1 0 4 3 2 1 0 Very short exposure could cause death or serious residual injury even though prompt medical attention was given. and are not reactive with water. Flammability Will rapidly or completely vaporize at normal pressure and temperature. . Must be preheated before ignition can occur. Special Hazards This section is used to denote special hazards. a chemical which can greatly increase the rate of combustion/fire Unusual reactivity with water. Normally unstable and readily undergo violent decomposition but do not detonate. or reacts explosively with water. Liquids and solids that can be ignited under almost all ambient conditions. Readily capable of detonation or of explosive decomposition or reaction at normal temperatures and pressures. or is readily dispersed in air and will burn readily. even under fire exposure conditions. Also: may react violently with water or may form potentially explosive mixtures with water Normally stable. Exposure could cause irritation but only minor residual injury even if no treatment is given. but not violently.

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