Chemical Control

Chemicals play an important role at home, work and play. They include corrosives, solvents, flammables, combustible materials and other chemical substances. They all can be potentially dangerous, but they needn’t be harmful when they are handled, stored and disposed of safely.

Methods of Exposure

  • Ingestion – eating or drinking of a chemical
  • Absorption – skin contact with a chemical
  • Inhalation – a chemical entering the body through breathing
  • Injection – a chemical forced into the body by a syringe or a high-pressure device

Chemical Hazards

  • Chemical SafetyToxic – chemicals that can have a poisonous effect on a person
  • Carcinogen – chemicals believed to cause cancer after overexposure
  • Corrosive – chemicals causing visible destruction or alteration
  • Irritant – chemicals causing an inflammatory effect
  • Sensitizer – chemicals causing an allergic reaction in tissues
  • Flammable liquid – a liquid that emits vapors that may catch fire
  • Combustible liquids – a liquid that combusts after being exposed to high temperatures.

The Must Knows!

  • Know the location of the chemical hygiene plan
  • Know the location of MSDS and other educational literature
  • Know how personal protective equipment is selected, its location, how to use each piece properly, and how to determine when it needs to be replaced
  • Know the hazards presented by each chemical and procedure in the laboratory
  • Know how to handle chemicals properly to avoid exposure
  • Know how to label containers correctly
  • Know proper laboratory hygiene and conduct, such as never eating, drinking, or chewing gum in a laboratory; confining loose hair and clothing; and avoiding horseplay and practical jokes
  • Know how to use the "buddy system" to avoid working alone & being caught in a dangerous situation
  • Know how to evaluate the procedure or process they'll be performing so that they take only the amount of chemicals necessary for the job they're doing
  • Know how to handle waste materials

Although each worksite comes with its own set of unique challenges, addressing known hazards and planning for anticipated ones will help to minimize chemical exposure and ensure a safer workplace for everyone.


In today’s job, what are some chemical controls we are using to keep us safe on the job?