If hazmat labels could talk: An exclusive interview

Dangerous Goods is not a Pixar movie. Hazmat labels don’t talk. But if they did, they might have some interesting things to say about the role they play in shipping compliance:

If hazmat labels could talk: An exclusive interviewQ: Tell our readers about yourself.

A: I’m a PVC-free, Class 9 Miscellaneous hazard class label from Labelmaster.

Q: It sounds like you say that with pride.

A: Yeah, you could say I’m a little stuck up. Get it? Stuck up? Anyway, lots of places print labels these days, but these folks at Labelmaster are—hello—the masters of labels.

Q: Can you elaborate on that?

A: Sure. I’m made from biaxially-oriented polypropylene polymer for superior chemical and abrasion resistance. I’m printed with light-fast inks for fade resistance, and my adhesives are formulated for extreme weather conditions. I’m talking the IMO 90-day seawater immersion test here, and temps that could freeze your adhesive off.

Q: Is it really that important for a hazmat label to be made so meticulously?

A: Seriously? I’m the first thing an inspector sees. What do you think happens if they can’t read me? Or if I fall off in that ice storm somewhere between Davenport and Peoria? Rejection, baby! Return to sender! Or let’s just park your shipment in this warehouse for a couple of weeks until we can get things sorted out. Meanwhile, your customer’s like, “Where’s my stuff?”

Q: A label is that important?

A: Only if you like making money or keeping your job. Compliance is the name of the game, and it all starts with the right label.

Q: I see you’ve got a kind of rectangular tab on one of your four sides. Can you tell us about that?

A: Yeah, I’m glad you brought that up. That’s for personalization. See, you need a minimum of two labels on a carton—a hazard class label, and a second label for your UN number and proper shipping name. A personalized label like me combines all of that, so one label and you’re covered! Saves your shipping people a ton of time, I’ll tell you.

Q: And Labelmaster can print personalized versions of any hazard class label?

A: Definitely.

Q: Now what about customized labels? Is that the same thing?

A: No, customized labels are … well, you name it, these guys at Labelmaster can create it from scratch. You can give them your exact specifications or just tell them what you need it for, and they’ll help you figure out the right colors, wording, size, material, whatever.

Q: Doesn’t that require a certain level of expertise?

A: You bet. Labelmaster’s got whole departments of Dangerous Goods experts, and some of their people even came over from regulatory agencies, so they know what they’re talking about. Don’t know exactly which label you need? Maybe you’re dealing with both hazcom and transport labels? They’ll get you straightened out.

Q: Sounds complex.

A: That’s why you need to get your labels from the right outfit. If you don’t know labels, you better know Labelmaster. Or you can study the Code of Federal Regulations yourself. The section on Dangerous Goods is only about 2,000 pages long.

Q: Anything else you’d like to tell our readers?

A: Just that it’s all about compliance. Can regulations be a pain in the butt? Sure. But when all is said and done, they’re about keeping people safe. If you want to sleep well at night, keep your shipments compliant and start with labels from Labelmaster. As far as I’m concerned, a label from anywhere else is just a sticker.

What does hazmat compliance really mean? Learn more about the role your labels play! Questions? Call Labelmaster TOLL-FREE at 800.621.5808 or contact us.


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