Tips for GHS Labelling

GHS warning signs set image

The Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of classifying and labelling chemicals is a useful tool for improving the safety and efficiency with which potentially hazardous substances can be transported, stored and handled.

It is a comprehensive system that:

  • Defines the risks to health, physical safety and the environment
  • Uses available data to create chemical classification processes
  • Clearly communicates hazard information and recommended protective measures

Why is GHS labelling important?

The GHS was put into place to provide better protection for humans and the environment. By using a standardised labelling system that can be followed around the world, language barriers and localised classification systems should no longer pose a threat to safety. Not only does it provide a recognised system for countries, industries and companies without an existing system, but it makes the trade of these chemicals easier across borders. For example, if the label on an imported substance is clear and reliable, there is less need to test and re-evaluate it.

What are the key elements of GHS labelling?

There are two key elements of GHS communications – the pictogram label or placard, and the associated Safety Data Sheet (SDS). The images and text used must be consistent throughout your labelling. See the GHS Purple Book for more details.

When it comes to your GHS labels, there are a number of guidelines that should be followed. These include:

  • A signal word to indicate the level of hazard. These include phrases like “Warning” or “Danger” (which is more severe).
  • A two-tone pictogram (or multiple pictograms), with the hazard symbol printed in black surrounded by a red diamond border.
  • Information about the chemical manufacturer (company name, address etc.)
  • Precautionary statements and first aid recommendations. These can include measures for prevention, response, storage and disposal, and should be reiterated on the SDS.
  • The hazard statement, which should be reiterated on the SDS.
  • The chemical or product name, along with any other identifiers that might be appropriate.

At Southern United, we have produced durable GHS labels for a number of clients across industries. If you have a new requirement for GHS labelling or have decided to upgrade your existing labels, contact our team to help you get your new design right first time.

Rally Plaques for the MGC Register

Rally Plaques for the MGC Register - Image

At Southern United, we have been providing high-quality memorabilia for clubs and organisations for over 70 years. Our experienced team offers a personalised service to create plaques, brass plates, badges, magnets and other memorabilia for organisations of all sizes.

One example of the types of work we produce is the MGC Day plaque, which we designed and manufactured for this year’s annual gathering of MGC owners that are part of the MG Car Club in the UK.

Despite the cars receiving a modest reception when they first came onto the market in 1967, the design has reached an almost cult status amongst its contemporary fans. Every year, the MG Car Club holds an event at various locations around the country where owners can show off their vehicles, share stories and discuss breakdowns!

To help attendees commemorate the event, we put together a plaque design for each vehicle. The plaques were made out of styrene, which is weather resistant and durable but lightweight enough to avoid any damage to the vehicles. These were numbered from 1 – 75 so each driver could have their own unique identifier, and we supplied cable ties so they could be securely affixed to the front of each car.

Southern United Rally Image

This year, the MGC Day was held at Fawley Hill on July 1st. As you can see from the picture, it was a beautiful day and the cars (with their plaques!) looked fantastic.

If you would like any more information about rally plaques or event memorabilia in any quantity, please contact our team today to see how we can help.

What is CE marking, and can anyone use it?

Electronic parts

CE marking can be found on all kinds of products that are intended for trading in the European Economic Area (EEA). The letters are the abbreviation of the French phrase “Conformité Européene”, which translates to “European Conformity”. If a product is stamped with the CE marking, it indicates that it complies with the relevant European legislation for free movement within the area.

What products need CE marking?

The products that require CE marking are listed in the New Approach Directives guidance, available from the Europa website. As a generalisation, CE marking applies to equipment, electrical items, medical devices and recreational goods. This includes:

  • Measuring instruments
  • Household appliances
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Radio equipment
  • Toys

How to use CE marking

To determine whether a CE marking is required, manufacturers must understand which EU Directives apply to their product. There are more than 20 potentially-applicable directives, so research and thorough understanding is necessary.

The manufacturer is solely responsible for ensuring that the CE marking is appropriately applied to their products, although some Directives require compliance testing by an authorised third party. Any documentation from the product’s manufacture, storage, certifications and technical assessment must be kept safe and made available to the Market Surveillance Authorities if requested.

Can anyone use CE marking?

As you can see, CE marking is an essential component of quality assurance within the EEA. Misusing the CE label is considered a serious offence and is monitored in the UK by Trading Standards, the Health and Safety Executive, the National Measurement Office, the Vehicle Certification Agency and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

If a manufacturer is found to be wrongly labelling their products with the CE marking, they may be given an opportunity to remove the marking or bring their products up to code (whichever is appropriate). Failure to do so can result in products being removed from the market, fines and imprisonment.

Further information

For more information about CE marking in the UK, you can visit the Government website or check with the British Standards Institution.

If you aren’t sure about how to get the CE marking onto your products, contact us. Our label technicians have worked with hundreds of clients that are affected by the legislation and can help you design a secure way to show that your products are CE compliant.

Metal Tags: Making a mark that counts

Laser cutting of metal sheet with sparks

Whether you’re using them for industrial asset identification, premium brand labels or anything in between, there’s little that can match both the durability and the prestige of metal tags.

At Southern United, we have been making signage, badges, labels and custom plates for clients for many years, primarily out of brass, aluminium and stainless steel. We’re experts in understanding which metal and type of printing is the most appropriate for every environment and would like to share some of the details with you.

Material choices

As we’ve mentioned, at Southern United, we work with brass, aluminium and stainless steel. These each have different properties that can be benefits or drawbacks in different applications. For example:

Brass

  • Easily machinable into a variety of shapes
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Relatively low melting point (may be unsuitable for industrial applications)

Aluminium

  • Resistant to weathering, corrosion and high temperatures (although not as robust as steel)
  • Easy to cut and shape
  • Inexpensive

Stainless Steel

  • Very strong, resistant to rust and corrosion
  • Exceptional heat tolerance
  • Ideal for tough environments, marine atmosphere etc.

Marking techniques

 

Laser Marking

Laser marking will create a chemical reaction to change the appearance of a metal through charring, foaming, melting or a similar process. This may affect the surface texture and/or the colour of the laser-marked area.

Laser engraving can be expensive, however, the lack of inks or physical contact with the metal surface means that there is no need to regularly replace worn-out parts.

Engraving

Engraving can be done with a laser or mechanically. Either way, it involves using a tool to ‘hollow-out’ specific parts of a metal plate into text or shapes, usually following a computer-generated guide. This means that the design is easy to precisely replicate thousands of times and can easily be configured to incorporate variable data.

Engraving leaves a durable mark which is very difficult to tamper with, and which can be enhanced with coloured lacquer to make text stand out from the background.

Anodisation

Anodising a metal (typically aluminium) involves oxidising its surface to make it porous and suitable for accepting ink. Once anodised, the plate is suitable for text, photo-quality printing or an all-over dye.

To ensure this print does not fade or wash out (and to protect the metal from corrosion), the anodised surface is then sealed using heat or a combination of heat and a sealant.

If you require custom metal tags for your organisation, business or products, please get in touch. At Southern United, our team have worked with a broad range of briefs and would be happy to help you choose the best design for your application.

Southern United Bake For Shelter

Southern United Bake for Shelter Cakes Image

Southern United’s Quality Technician, Corinne, recently organised a Bake For Shelter charity event at our HQ. Our team members, along with workers from neighbouring businesses, got together for a cup of tea and delicious cakes of all kinds. There were sponge cake, a surprise piñata cake, banana bread, carrot cake, a banoffee pie, chocolate Easter nests and for savoury fans, there was even a quiche.

We raised £107 for a great cause, the UK charity Shelter helps out over a million people each year with poor condition housing and homelessness. They advise and support with legal services, campaigning towards a day where no one struggles to keep a roof over their head. After a particularly cold winter 2017 – 18 coincided with a rise in homelessness, Corinne felt that an organisation attempting to prevent further increases deserved the support.

We got some great pictures of the baked goods – look away now if you’re hungry!

Southern United Bake for Shelter Cakes Montage Image