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How to properly label hazardous waste

The Environmental Protection Agency has implemented a new rule that requires hazardous waste containers to be labeled with the words "hazardous waste." Furthermore, containers in New Jersey and other states must state the type of hazards that the materials may pose as well as how long they have been accumulating. This rule generally applies to drip pads, containment buildings and tanks used to hold such waste.

If waste is being held in a drip pad or tank, the required information can be recorded in a log that is kept near the storage site. There are many different ways that the dangers hazardous waste poses can be communicated to a waste handler or anyone else who may come into contact with it. For instance, it can be permissible to use either words or pictures to highlight the potential for material to be corrosive, flammable or toxic.

It is also possible to use labels that are compliant with NFPA Code 704 or those that meet OSHA hazard communication standards. Information can be handwritten on a printed label or inputted onto the label before it is printed and placed on a container. Per the terms of the finalized rule, there is no need to indicate what is inside of a hazardous waste container, tank or drip pad.

Workers who handle hazardous materials could be at risk of getting hurt or sick on the job. If they do get sick after handling toxic, flammable or corrosive materials, it may be possible to file for workers' compensation benefits. This may entitle an individual to a portion of any wages lost while recovering from a workplace accident. An attorney may be able to answer any questions a person has about his or her rights during a workers' compensation case.

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