Industry Solutions

OKI solutions for the Chemical industry


Historically, local and regional standards were used to identify the hazardous properties of chemicals known as classifications. Variations on how to identify the properties of chemicals and the associated hazards passed on to users through labels and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) were confusing. 

These inconsistencies came to an end in 2008 for pure chemicals and 2015 for mixtures and compounds. National regulatory bodies enforced new United Nations directives for implementing a Globally Harmonised System (GHS) for chemical classifications and labelling. 

In order to meet the this mandate, businesses and organisations were forced to change their labelling processes as the new GHS system required warning symbols known as pictograms to be enclosed in a red diamond. For the first time the use of labels printed in two colours was allowed. Previously, labels were printed in black and white. The GHS also controls the size of the label dependant on the volume of the container and the information allowed on a label.  

These rules can make it impractical to hold pre-printed label stocks with varying numbers of red diamonds in multiple sizes. Additionally, the frequent requirement for smaller print runs of bespoke labels can result in financial implications for companies if not carefully managed. 


Key challenges

  • GHS-compliant labels have to be printed in two or more colours in a range of sizes, from A8 to A5, with between one and eight pictograms, along with hazard information and multiple languages, depending on the destination
  • Labels for hazardous substances transported on ships and aircraft must also adhere to International Air Transport Authority (IATA) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulations. BS5609 ensures compliance with IATA and IMO DG regulations, meaning chemical labels must be robust enough to remain legible for three months emersion in the sea and remain resistant to abrasion, following exposure to sunlight, pollution, extreme weather conditions and other challenging environments. A low-cost solution is needed that enables inventory management with single blank label material that is fully compliant and does not require investment in expensive, specialist thermal label printers
  • Consider not only the system for printing but also the media used for producing fully compliant chemical labels

How OKI can help improve your business

All-round regulatory compliance

GHS compliance

GHS compliant labels can be printed on OKI's BS5609 approved printers which ensure survival in the harshest of environments including long immersion (at least three months) in the sea or accelerated wear due to sand abrasion.

OKI offers a range of high-performance colour printers to handle all chemical hazard label printing, eliminating the need to purchase a costly, specialist thermal label printer. All OKI BS5609 compliant printers have been independently tested by the Print Industry Research Association (PIRA) to comply with BS5609 Part 3 on Avery and Teslin approved media.

And for complete peace of mind, OKI is offering an extended 3 year warranty at no extra cost, simply register your product within 30 days of purchase. 

Print on-demand

Print on-demand

Businesses and organisations implementing GHS need the ability to print short runs of compliant, bespoke labels on-demand, thereby reducing costs and simplifying inventory management.


OKI’s range of BS5609 (Part 3)-compliant printers, offers the flexibility to print any size between A7 to SRA3 and in full colour, allowing additional opportunities for branding. Businesses can print with confidence, knowing they are meeting all GHS regulations. 

An end-to-end solution

An end-to-end solution

Although businesses need to consider their printing processes and make sure they have the right tools, the printing of chemical hazard labels should not necessitate the use of a separate, dedicated printer.  

Providing a fully-accredited solution for compliant labels, OKI’s BS5609 compliant colour printers also have the ability to handle day-to-day office printing, including Material Safety Data Sheets. No longer do businesses require multiple devices to fulfil the requirements of all departments. OKI printers are a very cost-effective, end-to-end label-printing solution.

Compliance and continuity

Compliance and continuity

Selected OKI Colour devices (see below models) combined with OKI-approved label media, provide a reliable and fully-warranted solution to chemical labelling. In addition to reliable jam-free operation, using OKI-approved labels ensures compliance and continuity for all “downstream” users.

Your benefits at a glance

  • Control of inventory through cost-effective, single print solution providing flexibility for day-to-day office printing, obviating the need for dedicated and expensive thermal label printers
  • Complete compliance with GHS, International Air Transport Authority and International Maritime Organisation DG Laws for labelling and transporting hazardous chemicals
  • Labels that meet durability requirements of BS5609 (Part 3) and Dangerous Goods (DG) laws
  • A reliable and fully-warranted solution

Request Consultation

If you need any more information or you want to book an appointment with one of our experts, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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