Hazardous materials

HazCom; Hazard communication; Material Safety Data Sheet; MSDS

Hazardous materials are substances that could harm human health or the environment. Hazardous means dangerous, so these materials must be handled the right way.

Hazard communication, or HAZCOM is teaching people how to work with hazardous materials and waste.

There are many different kinds of hazardous materials, including:

  • Chemicals, like some that are used for cleaning
  • Medicines, like chemotherapy to treat cancer
  • Radioactive material that is used for x-rays or radiation treatments
  • Human or animal tissue, blood, or other substances from the body that may carry harmful germs
  • Gases that are used to make people sleep during surgery

Hazardous materials can harm you if they:

  • Touch your skin
  • Splash into your eyes
  • Get into your airways or lungs when you breathe
  • Cause fires or explosions

Your hospital or workplace has policies about how to deal with these materials. You will receive special training if you work with these materials.

Watch out for Hazardous Materials

Labels and Signs

Work Safely