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What Are RTK Labels?

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RTK stands for "Right-to-Know". In 1983, OSHA instituted Hazard Communication Standard 1910.1200 — a rule that gives employees the right to know the hazards of chemicals to which they may be exposed in the workplace.

Under the rule, the hazards of chemicals an employer produces or imports must be communicated to employees or to downstream employers who may purchase the chemical. This is done through labels, material safety data sheets, a written hazard communication program, and hazard safety training. Employers who do not produce or import chemicals need only focus on those parts of this rule that deal with establishing a workplace program and communicating information to their workers.

This guide is intended for general information purposes only. This guide is not a substitute for review of applicable government regulations and standards.

RTK labels are probably the most important part of your HazCom program because they serve as an immediate visual warning of chemical hazards. For this reason, RTK labels must be clearly displayed, written legibly in English, and must contain at least the following information*:

  • Identity of the hazardous chemical(s).
  • Appropriate hazard warnings.
  • Target organ warning

RTK information may be displayed in other languages so long as it is presented in English as well. Some states require additional information on RTK labels. Check with your state's OSHA department to find out what you need to do to comply.

*{OHS 1910.1200(f)(1); OSHA Standards Interpretation 1910.1200 02/09/94}

Related links

OSHA HazCom Standard {HCS 1910.1200}
OSHA Health Hazard Definitions

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