What is the Purpose of a Supplier Label?

by Irwin's Marketing Team, on Jan 5, 2024 10:19:33 AM

what is a purpose of supplier label

As an employer or worker in Canada, you know it's important to properly label any hazardous products used in your workplace. But what exactly is a supplier label, and what purpose does it serve? This blog post will explain the key facts you need to know. 

If your business uses any kind of hazardous chemical or material, you have a responsibility under Canadian WHMIS regulations to ensure it is properly labeled. This helps protect your employees by alerting them to potential risks. Supplier labels are a critical part of meeting those requirements. 

The Role of Supplier Labels 

A supplier label provides vital information about a hazardous product from the original manufacturer or distributor. Here are some key facts: 

  • It contains a product identifier, hazard symbols, hazard statements, and precautionary statements 
  • It alerts users to the product's hazard classes and safe handling precautions 
  • It helps workers understand what protective equipment may be needed 
  • It must include the initial supplier's name and address 
  • Supplier labels are required on hazardous products sold or imported in Canada 

Supplier labels communicate the intrinsic hazards of a product based on its chemical composition and properties. This gives workers some of the core info they need to handle products safely. 

Using Supplier Labels with SDS and Training 

Supplier labels work together with safety data sheets to educate employees on workplace hazardous materials. But labels and SDSs alone are not enough - proper training and instruction are also critical. This ensures workers understand how to interpret supplier label information and follow safe handling procedures. 

Supplier vs Workplace Labels 

Supplier labels are different from workplace labels required under WHMIS. While original supplier labels can't be removed, workplaces must also add their own labels on hazardous products in certain situations, such as when: 

  • Products are decanted into smaller containers 
  • Supplier labels become lost or damaged 
  • Small containers are too small for supplier labels 
  • Products are produced on-site 

Key Facts on Labelling Requirements 

If you use hazardous products in your Canadian workplace, here are some important facts on supplier and workplace labeling: 

  • 180-day grace period - You have 180 days to attach workplace labels to products already in your workplace before WHMIS 2015 came into effect. 
  • Prioritize high-risk hazards - Label the most dangerous classes (explosives, gases, flammables) first. 
  • Follow label formatting requirements - Labels must meet minimum size and formatting requirements. 
  • Update labels promptly - Update labels as soon as new hazard info becomes available. 
  • Train employees on labels - Ensure employees understand how to read and interpret label info. 

Proper labeling is not just a legal requirement, it's a vital way to protect your workers. Following WHMIS 2015 label rules demonstrates your commitment to safety. 


Supplier labels provide baseline hazard information on the intrinsic dangers of workplace hazardous products. When combined with workplace labels, SDSs, and proper training, they help form a comprehensive labeling system that promotes safety. Following WHMIS 2015 requirements ensures your business properly identifies risks and handles hazardous materials with care. 

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