HazCom pictograms are an easy way to convey information in the workplace when there are potentially hazardous chemicals present. These pictograms are very simple images that convey the type of hazard that a chemical possesses. There are a number of different pictograms that have been established and are used in various workplaces. Many people who have experience working with chemicals will recognize these pictograms as part of the GHS (Globally Harmonized System). This is largely because GHS and HazCom are used together to help ensure a safer workplace whenever dangerous chemicals are present.
There are nine different pictograms that are commonly used in the workplace. They are as follows:
- Flammable – This is a picture of a fire.
- Oxidizing Chemicals – This is a picture of a fire over a circle.
- Gasses Under Pressure – This is a simple picture of a cylinder that would commonly hold pressurized gasses.
- Corrosive Chemicals – This shows a chemical going onto hands to indicate that it can cause skin irritation. On the other side is the chemical going onto a black material indicating that it is corrosive.
- Explosions or Reactivity – This is a black and white image of an explosion.
- Toxic Chemicals – This pictogram is of the classic skull and crossbones.
- Serious Health Effects – This pictogram is a silhouette of a person with a white ‘star’ in the chest.
- Less Serious Health Effects – This is an exclamation point.
- Environmental Damage – This is an image of a tree, fish, and water.
All of these pictograms are contained within a diamond with a red outline. The background on all the pictograms is white, with the images being black and white.
Training Employees on HazCom Pictograms
Most facilities will only use a few of these hazard pictograms because they don’t use chemicals with all the different potential dangers. In these situations, it is good to focus most of the training time for employees on the specific pictograms that they will come across on a regular basis. It is also good, however, to at least provide an introduction to the rest of the pictograms so they are prepared should it be necessary.
- What is a pictogram?
- What does the HazCom standard cover?
- What does a HazCom label include?
- What does WHMIS stand for?
- What are HazCom labels?
- When is a HazCom program required?
- How often is HazCom training required?
- What is the HazCom standard?