Call us on: 01444 239970

Technical Helpline: 01444 237804

8am-5pm Monday-Thursday

8.30am-1pm Friday

[email protected]

Follow us on linkedin

Hazardous and Biohazard Labels Explained

Biohazard labels play a critical role in ensuring safety and compliance in places where hazardous biological materials are being used. From medical facilities and laboratories to research institutions, these labels are important visual indicators, alerting users to the potential risks associated with certain substances. In this article, our labelling machine experts are exploring the different types of biohazard labels available.

Universal Biohazard Symbol Labels

Universal biohazard symbol labels are used across the world and feature a distinct icon—a circular image with three interlocking arcs. This symbol, often coloured black or red, represents a broad warning for the presence of hazardous biological materials in a product. It is universally recognised and ensures immediate recognition of the potential dangers that users need to be aware of. Universal biohazard symbol labels are widely used across various industries and are an essential component of any biohazard products.

Biohazard Warning Labels

Biohazard warning labels are designed to provide specific information about the type of biohazard present in a product. These labels often include text information such as “Biohazard,” “Infectious Substance,” or “Medical Waste,” along with the universal biohazard symbol. They help to identify the nature of the risk, allowing individuals to handle the substances with caution and follow appropriate safety protocols.

Biohazard Waste Labels

Biohazard waste labels are used to identify containers or bags that hold biohazardous waste materials. These labels typically include the universal biohazard symbol and may also feature additional information such as the type of waste, generator information, and proper handling instructions. Proper labelling of biohazard waste is essential to ensure safe disposal and minimize the risk of exposure to harmful substances.

Biological Substance Category Labels

Biological substance category labels are used to differentiate various levels of biohazardous materials. These stickers follow the classification system outlined by regulatory agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO). The categories, such as BSL-1 (Biosafety Level 1) to BSL-4, indicate the level of containment and the associated risks. These stickers help users to identify the appropriate precautions and protocols necessary for handling the specific biohazard category.

Autoclave Indicator Labels

Autoclave indicator labels are essential for tracking sterilisation processes. These labels are applied to containers, equipment, or packaging materials to indicate that they have been subjected to high-temperature steam sterilisation, typically carried out in autoclaves. The labels change colour or display specific markings after successful sterilisation, ensuring that items can be safely used or stored.

Refrigerator/Freezer Biohazard Labels

Refrigerator and freezer biohazard labels are designed for use in environments where biohazardous materials need to be stored at specific temperatures. These labels help differentiate between regular storage units and those that contain potentially infectious substances, preventing accidental exposure or cross-contamination. These labels are particularly crucial in medical laboratories and facilities that handle sensitive biological specimens.


Hazardous and biohazard labels are critical for ensuring the health and safety of those using biohazardous products in any environment. Labelling machinery is an essential tool for clearly and efficiently applying these labels. For more information on labelling machines or contract labelling services, get in touch today