Safety – Hazardous chemicals examples

Hazardous chemicals examples

Hazardous chemicals examples

What is a hazardous chemical?

It can sometimes be tricky to know exactly what a hazardous chemical is, because there is no exact formula or science.

At a high level, hazardous chemicals are substances which can cause adverse health effects such as poisoning, skin rashes, nausea and vomiting, allergic reactions, cancer, birth defects and other health problems.

In terms of assessing whether the chemicals you have delivered or are handling are hazardous in nature, you can look out for some reliable signs which are centered on the product labelling:

  • There are diamond-shaped warning pictograms
  • Danger or warning is written explicitly on the label
  • Hazard or precautionary statements are visible on the label, usually around wearing protective equipment or what to do if the chemical is swallowed
  • General risk or safety phrases on the label

It's obvious with many chemicals that they are classified as hazardous, and less obvious with others.

When in doubt about wheather a chemical is classified as being hazardous, contact the manufacturer or chemical supplier for details or a copy of the chemicals SDS (safety data sheet) - which they are required tomake available (in physical copy or online).

Hazardous chemicals examples...

Some concrete examples of hazardous chemicals include:

  • Acids
  • Glues
  • Heavy metals
  • Paints
  • Drugs
  • Cleaning chemicals
  • Degreasers
  • Detergents
  • Pesticides
  • Herbicides
  • Petrol/fuel
  • Asbestos
  • Gases
  • Corrosives

This is not an exhaustive list, and as you can see, each 'chemical' above will have a number of chemicals in its category.

Examples of specific hazardous chemicals

There are a lot of hazardous chemicals, but I have summarised a few - along the important details about each one below.


Kerosene is a combustible liquid derived from petroleum. It is used as a fuel in industry as well as a cleaning agent.

Purpose - Cleaning agent/Fuel

Dangerous goods - Class 3 flammable liquid

See below for an example of how Kerosene would be documented in a hazardous chemicals register.

Example of hazardous chemical

Use and customise a hazardous chemicals register template for free now.


Something we see and use every day, petroleum is used in workplaces and sites around the world as a source of fuel.

Purpose - Fuel

Dangerous goods - Class 3 flammable liquid

See below for an example of how petroleum would be documented in a hazardous chemicals register.

Hazardous chemicals example


WD-40 is a highly versatile product used the world over. It's main purpose and function is to lubricate (check out some of these bizzare and awesome WD-40 use cases)

Purpose - Lubricant

Dangerous goods - Class 2.1 Gases

See below for an example of how WD-40 would be documented in a hazardous chemicals register.

Hazardous chemicals picture

Are you documenting and managing your hazardous chemicals properly and safely?

Employers must ensure that the material safety data sheet (MSDS) for each hazardous chemical is available to employees, and that a central hazardous chemical register is established to monitor the hazardous chemicals in that specific workplace.

The material safety data sheet provides employees and management with critical information about the handling and storage of a specific hazardous chemical including:

  • The potential harmful health effects
  • Precautions which should be taken before, during and after use
  • Safe storage suggestions
  • Contact numbers for people in emergencies or people seeking further information

The hazardous chemical register on the other hand, is the single source of truth for all of the chemicals that a company uses and has on site. The register will contain the name of the chemical, along with supporting information and detail about that chemical including:

  • The supplier/manufacturer
  • Packaging photo
  • SDS issue date
  • Dangerous goods classification
  • Location of substance
  • Purpose of chemical

If you are looking to improve the way you or your company handles hazardous, treats and documents hazardous chemicals, take a look at our free templates below.

The templates are smarter than excel or word, and enable you to manage work in the cloud, where it is always accessible, secure and more efficient.

Hazardous chemicals register

Hazardous Chemicals Register template

Monitor and handle your hazardous chemicals properly with this always accessible register.
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Material safety data sheet template

Material Safety Data Sheet template

Document chemicals and hazardous materials with this comprehensive safety data sheet.
See the template →

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About Lance Hodgson

Lance is VP of Marketing at Sitemate. His aim is to bring awareness to a brighter future for the Built World where industrial workers and companies work smarter.

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