A chemical substance is any natural or artificial substance that is not classified as biological. Chemicals can be solid, liquid, gas or vapour. Examples of chemical substances include polyethylene, ethanol, benzene and silica.
A chemical can be considered hazardous if it causes injury or illness to a person who is exposed to it without the appropriate personal protective equipment. Exposures may occur through inhalation, skin contact and ingestion.
A chemical may also be hazardous if it is used in particular ways. For example, some chemicals are combustible or flammable, while others may produce hazardous by-products as a result of chemical reactions.
When there are hazardous chemicals in a workplace, appropriate control measures, as laid out in Part 36 - Chemical and Biological Substances of the Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health Regulation need to be taken to meet legal requirements and protect workers from exposure to hazardous chemical substances. In addition to these control measures, worker training may also be required.