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Safety Labels Right To Know Labels (RTK)

Written by Steve Hudgik

Example using RTK labels

All containers containing potentially hazardous materials must be properly labeled. Right-To-Know labels (RTK labels) are an OSHA instituted hazard communication standard that gives employees the right to know the hazards of chemicals they may be exposed to in the workplace. Get a free guide to to the NFPA Diamond

The two common styles of RTK labels are the NFPA Diamond and the Color Bar Labels.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Diamond:
Communicates the type and level of hazard associated with chemical. It uses color codes to identify what the risks are. Blue: health risks, red: Flammability, yellow: Instability, and white: special hazards. Numbers are used to rate the severity of the hazard on a scale of 0 to 4 with 4 representing the most severe and 0 representing minimal or no danger.

Color Bar Labels: Use a large format color bar to also quickly communicate the type and level of hazard associated with a chemical. Instead of arranging the colors and their urgency in a diamond shape, they are in a vertical row. Deciding which format of RTK label is purely personal preference.

RTK labels can be made in a variety of ways. They can be hand written on blank RTK labels. They can be printed using word processing software and a conventional computer printer. They can also be printed using a industrial quality label printer, which will produce more legible and durable labels. Ideally RTK labels should be made using database software and an industrial quality label printer.

A database should be used so that the proper information for each chemical is stored and can be recalled to print additional labels. This helps to prevent errors from getting on an RTK label.

We recommend making RTK labels using an industrial label printer such as the DuraLabel PRO 300. Labels can then be printed such that they are clear and easy-to-read. They will be consistent in how the information is presented. And they will be durable and resistant to smearing, sunlight, scratching and weathering. Use the DuraLabel PRO 300 to print RTK Pipe Markers and more!

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