Hazardous Material & Hazmat Safety

Hazardous materials (hazmat) are any material that has properties that may result in risk or injury to health and/or destruction of life or facilities. Many hazardous materials (hazmat) do not have a taste or an odor. Some can be detected because they cause physical reactions such as watering eyes or nausea. Some Hazardous Materials exist beneath the surface of the ground and have an oil or foam-like appearance. The substance can be identified from placards, labels or markings on the transporters.

Hazardous Material can be:

· Corrosive Hazmat Materials: are strong enough to eat away at steel drums or human skin. Because they can eat through the containers they are carried in, they are of special concern during transportation. Example: car battery acids
· Ignitable Hazmat Materials: present a fire hazard because they are flammable at relatively low temperatures. This causes a risk of explosion and the spreading of toxic gas over an area, as well as fire and smoke. Examples: paint removers, the chemical Benzene
· Reactive Materials: can explode or release deadly fumes by mixing with water or reacting to heat or pressure. Examples: old weapons and ammunition, sodium metal, stannic chloride
· Radioactive Materials: include materials with both high and low radioactivity that can lead to dangerous side effects for thousands of years. Most of these materials are produced at nuclear power plants and by research facilities.
· Toxic Hazardous Materials: consist of poisonous chemicals. People and animals exposed to these types of materials can develop severe health problems. Examples: lead, arsenic, mercury
· Infectious Materials: These materials are also toxic wastes, but are in a separate category. They consist of materials infected with some type of germ, bacteria, or virus that could cause disease in humans or animals. These types of materials often come from hospitals. Examples: hypodermic needles, human and animal waste


Federal officials say the general public should first call 911 if they witness a hazardous material emergency. If it is possible without putting yourself in danger, report the size and markings of the vehicle, specifically the color of the placards and identification number. The following organization has important information on hazardous materials:

National Response Center (NRC) - The NRC is the national point of contact for reporting all chemical, radiological, and etiological discharges into the environment anywhere in the U.S. and its territories. Employers are required to notify the NRC whenever reportable quantities of hazmat are spilled or released into the environment. The NRC is never closed, operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. Contact them at: 1-800-424-8802

All materials in the members area for this topic index

Program Material

Programs (written)
 Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Policy   Download  MS-WORD
 Hazmat Plan   Download  MS-WORD
Fact Sheets
 Hazmat Overview   Download  MS-WORD

Forms & Documents

 Hazmat Incident Commander Checklist   Download  MS-WORD
 Hazmat Operations Manager Checklist   Download  MS-WORD
 Hazmat Safety Officer Checklist   Download  MS-WORD

Training Material

 Hazwoper Cpl Safety Article   Download  MS-WORD
 Hazmat Trg Course Criteria   Download  MS-WORD
 Hazmat Trg Course Management   Download  MS-WORD
 Hazmat Trg Definitions   Download  MS-WORD
 Hazmat Trg Emerg Response   Download  MS-WORD
 Hazmat Trg Genhazwaste   Download  MS-WORD
 Hazmat Trg RCRA OPS   Download  MS-WORD
 40 Hour HAZWOPER PowerPoint Spanish   Download  MS-PPT
 40 hour HAZWOPER PowerPoint   Download  MS-PPT
 HAZWOPER 8Hr Operations PowerPoint Spanish   Download  MS-PPT
 HAZWOPER 8Hr Operations PowerPoint   Download  MS-PPT
 Hazardous Material Decontamination PowerPoint   Download  MS-PPT
 Hazardous Waste Management Training PowerPoint Spanish   Download  MS-PPT
 Hazardous Waste Management Training PowerPoint   Download  MS-PPT



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