CSM logo - horizontal

Handling Hazardous Materials

Understanding the basics of hazardous waste handling can prevent catastrophic injuries. Employers and employees should routinely examine the workplace to detect unsafe or unhealthful conditions, practices, or equipment. Proper training is crucial to protect employees while handling hazardous materials.   

Below is an essential list of rules to evaluate when around and handling hazardous materials:   

  • Always use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).  
    • Inspect PPE before every use to ensure it is suitable.  
    • When PPE shows visual signs of wear, tear, or damage, replace it. 
  • Become familiar with emergency procedures to train employees how to respond if evacuation is necessary.  
    • Educate employees on reporting requirements.  
  • If a coworker is injured or overcome by chemicals, seek immediate care.  
  • Keep you and your work area clean.   
  • Hands should be washed thoroughly with soap and water after handling any material.  
  • Clean work surfaces at least once a shift to minimize contamination exposures.  
  • Never eat or drink while handling any materials.   
    • Wash your hands before handling contact lenses, applying cosmetics, or touching your face.
  • Ensure all containers are appropriately labeled and materials are stored in an appropriate container.   
    • Any damaged containers or illegible labels should be reported immediately to a supervisor.  
  • Train employees to understand hazards and precautions by reading labels and safety data sheets (SDS) before handling any material. 


This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

Meet Our Safety Team

Related Safety Resources