What Is a Hazard Communication Pictogram?

Hazard Communication Pictograms

If you’ve heard of OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (1210.1200), updated in 2012, you may also have heard of Hazard Communication pictograms.

But what are they, you may wonder?

Well, we explain just that in this article. So read on if you wanna know.

Hazard Communication Pictograms: What Are They?

The Haz-Com pictograms are one element of what is commonly known as the required Hazard Communication label elements.

In short, these are things that OSHA requires to appear on labels of all containers of hazardous chemicals used in the workplace.

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What Are the Hazard Communication Label Elements?

For a quick overview of the Haz-Com label elements, including the pictograms, watch the short video sample from our online Hazard Communication training course below.

What Are the Haz-Com Pictograms?

As you just learned, the Hazard Communication pictograms are pictorial representations (or, in every day language, pictures) that represent the hazard or hazards represented by a chemical.

All together, there are nine pictograms in use on GHS-aligned labels. However, only eight of them fall under OSHA’s jurisdiction, as one is used for environmental hazards.

The eight pictograms called for by OSHA’s HazCom Standard are shown in the image immediately below.

Hazard Communication Pictograms

Notice that all Haz-Com pictograms are diamond-shaped and have a thick red border, white backgrounds, and a black central image.

This short sample video from our online Hazard Communication training course goes into more detail about all nine Haz-Com pictograms–the eight used by OSHA plus the environmental one.

And below we’ve got a closer look at the Haz-Com pictograms for you.

Flame Over Circle: Chemical Oxidizer

GHS Pictogram Oxidizers

Flame

(Flammables, pyrophoric, self-heating, self-reacting, emits flammable gases, organic peroxides)

HazCom Pictogram Flammable

Exploding Bomb

(Unstable explosives, explosives, self-reactive substances and mixtures, organic peroxides)

HazCom Pictogram Explosive

Skull and Cross Bones

(Acute toxicity and/or rapid death)

HazCom Pictogram Rapid Death & Acute Toxicity

Corrosive

(Skin corrosion/burns, eye damage, corrosive to metals)

HazCom Pictogram Corrosive

Gas Cylinder

(Gases under pressure)

HazCom Pictogram Gas Under Pressure

Health Hazard

(Carcinogens, mutagenicity, reproductive toxicity, target organ toxicity, aspiration toxicity)

HazCom Pictogram Health Hazard

Exclamation Mark

(Skin or eye irritant, limited acute toxicity, narcotic effects, respiratory tract irritant)

HazCom Pictogram Less Severe Hazards

And, even though it’s not part of the OSHA HazCom Standard, it’s worth knowing about the GHS Pictogram for Environmental Hazards, as well. That’s it below.

Environmental Hazard

HazCom Pictogram Environmental Hazard

Want to Download Some Free Hazard Communication Pictogram Files?

We made these free Haz-Com Pictogram image files available some years ago and they’ve maintained a level of popularity ever since.

Feel free to download them if you want.

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Conclusion: Hazard Communication Pictograms Are a Vital Part of the Employee Right to Know

We hope this helps explain and introduce you to the pictograms required by the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard.

Remember that the pictograms, along with all the required Haz-Com label elements, are part of what OSHA refers to as an employee’s “right to know” about the chemical hazards they work with on the job.

To help teach employees more about Haz-Com, and to introduce them to the chemical hazards they work with, you may find the online hazard communication training course below a good addition to your safety training library–or maybe you’d just like to learn more on your own.

Let us know if you have more questions about Haz-Com pictograms or the OSHA Hazard Communication regulation.

And don’t forget to download the free guide below.

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Effective EHS Training: A Step-by-Step Guide

Learn how to design, create, deliver, and evaluate effective EHS training by following these best practices with our free step-by-step guide.

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Jeff Dalto, Senior Learning & Performance Improvement Manager
Jeff is a learning designer and performance improvement specialist with more than 20 years in learning and development, 15+ of which have been spent working in manufacturing, industrial, and architecture, engineering & construction training. Jeff has worked side-by-side with more than 50 companies as they implemented online training. Jeff is an advocate for using evidence-based training practices and is currently completing a Masters degree in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning from Boise State University. He writes the Vector Solutions | Convergence Training blog and invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.

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