Hazardous Material or Hazmat Law and Legal Definition
A hazardous substance or material is any solid, liquid, or gas that can harm people, other living organisms, property, or the environment. Hazardous materials may be radioactive, flammable, explosive, toxic, corrosive, carcinogenic, mutagenic, biohazardous, an oxidizer, an asphyxiant, a pathogen, an allergen, or may have other characteristics that render it hazardous in specific circumstances. Hazardous substances are mainly industrial chemicals which include dusts, mixtures, and common materials such as paints, fuels, and solvents. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) currently regulates exposure to approximately 400 substances. Mitigating the risks associated with hazardous materials may require the application of safety precautions during their transport, use, storage and disposal. This is extremely important especially at workplaces because it has the potential, through being used at work, to harm the health or safety of persons in the workplace. Many workers are unaware of chemicals that create potential hazards in their work environment, making them more vulnerable to exposure and injury.