Chemical hazards and toxic substances pose a wide range of health hazards (such as irritation, sensitization and carcinogenicity) and physical hazards (such as flammability, corrosion and explosibility). OSHA’s Chemical Hazards and Toxic Substances webpage provides basic information about chemical hazards and toxic substances in the workplace and also includes relevant links to other pages with additional information about hazards and methods to control exposure in the workplace.
OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is designed to ensure that information about chemical and toxic substance hazards in the workplace and associated protective measures is disseminated to workers. Information about the identities and hazards of the chemicals must be available and understandable to workers.
Engineering and work practice controls must be the primary means to reduce employee exposure to toxic chemicals, where feasible. Respiratory protection is required to be used if engineering or work practice controls are infeasible or while engineering controls are being implemented.