Drums typically refer to 55 gallon containers that ship and store various types of raw materials and chemicals including dry goods, liquids, and solvents. Plastic drums, usually made of polyethylene, are used for caustic and acidic materials while paperboard drums often hold raw food goods.
Metal drums are most commonly used for storing hazardous waste and other volatile or flammable substances, including petroleum, oils and alcohol.
OSHA mandates that any drum holding hazardous material must display a hazard warning label at all times until the drum is emptied and removed of any contamination.
Unlabeled drums can lead to hazardous environmental spills may contaminate groundwater and surface water. They also produce a threat of exposure for industrial personnel who come into contact with the unmarked drums.
Although OSHA requires drum labeling, it does not specify what the labels must look like. It only states that labels need to be legible and prominently displayed on the container, with information about the material inside and appropriate hazard warnings.
NFPA diamond and Color Bar right-to-know (RTK) labels are used by many facilities in need of compliant hazard labeling, both of which are available from DuraLabel for the DuraLabel PRO line of printers. Neither format is specifically required, but they both utilize a numeric scale for identifying hazard labels that is well-established and systemized to better assist employee training.
Super-Size RTK Labels
DuraLabel offers 7" x 10.5" RTK labels to provide maximum visibility for your drum labeling. These Super Size labels are not available for any printers except the DuraLabel 7000 and DuraLabel 9000. At nearly double the size of standard 4" x 6" labels, employees can note the hazards of drum contents from further away, preventing their exposure to the hazard.
Other types of supplies are also available for making non-RTK drum labels.
The Department of Transportation requires that chemical shippers place labels on drums that identify hazards of the content. OSHA states that DOT's requirements may be combined with right-to-know data to produce one fully-compliant drum label.