While distributors wait for chemical manufacturers to complete their evaluations, they have tried to get a head start on the planning, designing and printing of their revised product labels.  

Overall, artwork choices will need to change to include the various hazard communication statements, as well as include the pictograms. This simple change stands to affect manufacturers or distributors who print labels using general photocopiers, or utilize dual-color silk screening printing methods. For distributors who already use two colors on their labels, if one of them isn’t red, dual-color silk screening may no longer be an option.

At Dade Paper in Miami, the company has had to move from monochromatic designs to multicolor printing to display the pictograms on its labels, while also maintaining its private brand recognition.

For example, its private branded degreaser product contained a label that was orange and white. Similarly, the label on its window cleaner product was turquoise and white. Both of these products use just one color of ink during the printing process.

With the new GHS labeling requirements, however, the company has had to redesign the degreaser label to include not just the orange ink, but also red and black inks so that they can incorporate the pictograms on the label, too.

Because the company outsources its manufacturing to a company that also handles in-house design, additional printing costs to the company have so far been “negligible,” says Laura Craven, director of corporate communications and marketing, but it does make the process a bit more complicated. 

“We don’t see it being anything that is going to change how we go to market with our products,” Craven adds. “A lot of the time and resources has really fallen to the manufacturers. We’ve been very lucky.”

Mike Brahms, vice president at Armchem International Corp. in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., says the company has received new labels for about 25 percent of its private label products from its outsourced printer, and expects to be in compliance well before the summer 2015 deadline.

“We decided to do a little at a time, in order to avoid problems down the line and then get nailed with everything,” Brahms explains. “So we might do 10 to 12 products, instead of 150 products. It’s been an easy transition.”

As its own private label manufacturer, the label redesigns are a little more involved for the team at Maintex, says Silverman. The staff is currently compiling and changing hundreds of private product labels to meet the new requirements. 

“We used to do a lot of silk screening,” a process that involves printing a single color of ink onto a label, aligning the design, and putting it through the printer a second time to apply additional color, Silverman explains. “Now we are converting to (laser) labeling. It’s actually more efficient, but it’s a big investment.”

Design specs and other resources provided by OSHA have eased the re-labeling process, says Silverman, but the biggest challenge remains collecting needed information from chemical supply partners.  

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