When California residents think about chemicals, they often think of scientists in a laboratory, but the reality is that chemicals exist in everyday items and in workplace situations. It is a good idea to get familiar with some commonly used chemicals and understand how misuse could potentially harm you or cause injury. These tips should also be readily available at your place of work. However, let’s examine some common workplace injuries caused by chemicals.

Some common chemical based products you may find in the workplace include cleaners, art supplies and printer toner just to name a few. There are three chemical states: solid, liquid and gas. The state determines how the chemical can be processed into the body. If you are aware of the state a chemical is in then you know how you could accidentally come into contact with it.

Ingesting, breathing or absorbing these chemicals can be hazardous to your health. Specific types of chemicals have been associated with harmful health effects. Common chemical injuries include skin irritation, burns or eye injury. Also, when incompatible toxic chemicals come in contact with each other it can cause serious burns from explosions or solvents that catch on fire.

Clearly, chemicals potentially can cause a long list of workplace injuries. In industries that work with inherently dangerous chemicals, there are special restrictions and guidelines for employees and employers. Nonetheless, even the average employee can be harmed in a chemical accident at work. Be aware and cautious around all chemicals in the workplace.

Source: Takeonestep.org, “Chemical Hazards,” accessed on Jan. 31, 2015