GSE’s Hazard warning software provides safer way of working with packaging inks

GSE Dispensing has introduced a software module for tracing and labelling hazardous chemicals in ink ingredients of spot colours – promoting a safer working environment for packaging converters.

The company’s Hazard symbol printing software solves the problem of tracing and communicating the occasional presence of hazardous chemicals in special brand colours that are made by blending ‘base components’ of inks, varnishes and additives together. When a base component contains hazardous chemicals, these are labelled on the supplier’s packaging. However, this information can be lost when the components are dispensed for new formulations, or returned from the press for eventual reuse.

GSE Hazard symbol printing allows the user to assign up to five symbols – denoting physical, health and environmental risks – to base components listed in the user’s inventory database. The software ensures that the assigned symbols are printed on the label for any dispensed ink mixture containing affected base components.

No duplicate entry is needed throughout the life of the ink; the hazard warning information remains automatically logged with any return ink batch, when booked back into stock after a production run. The hazard information is also transferred to new colour blends that the returned batch is used for.

Maarten Hummelen, Marketing Director, GSE, comments, “It’s understandable that businesses are committing to making the workplace safer for their people. Consumers rightly expect brands and their suppliers to behave ethically and responsibly – and it’s proven that creating a culture of health improves morale and performance. In package printing, a standardised protocol for handling potentially hazardous materials is essential for a safer work environment. With GSE Hazard symbol printing software, we offer our customers an automated, reliable solution for safely working with hazardous inks, throughout their lifetime in the workplace – in accordance with globally recognised labour codes of practice.”

GSE Hazard symbol printing is ideal for flexo, gravure and screen process printers and is compatible with the latest version of GSE’s Ink manager software. Symbols that may be printed, defined in the Guidance Document to support implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), include those for:

  • flammable substance;
  • corrosive substance;
  • irritating substance;
  • toxic substance;
  • environmentally dangerous substance.

Together with its suppliers, GSE has adopted the ETI Base Code of labour practice, which is based on the standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO)2. It offers the potential for reducing exposure to occupational risk factors and provides greater reassurance of compliance with ILO safety codes of practice.

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