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Guide to hazardous symbols

When carrying hazardous loads or working with materials that contain harmful toxins you must be extra careful not to have an accident at work or you could end up sustaining serious workplace injuries, including chemical burns.

If the substances used in your place of work are covered by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH), data sheets including all the technical information about these particular substances and the measures which need to be taken in order to reduce the risk of accidents at work should be displayed for both employers and employees to refer to.

Before using any hazardous substances you should always read the instructions carefully and seek advice if needed. You should also wear protective clothing such as overalls or equipment such as goggles where stated. Then make sure that you follow the specific directions for use, taking note of instructions such as "use in a well-ventilated area".

Regulations were introduced to protect people from substances that could cause known health hazards and personal injuries. These hazards and the signs used to warn people of their potential health and safety risks will follow.


explosive symbol

Explosive (E) - chemicals which may explode if exposed to a flame, shocks or friction.

oxidising symbol

Oxidising (O) - chemicals that releases a lot of heat while reacting with other chemicals, particularly those that are flammable.

extremely flammable symbol

Extremely flammable (F+) - chemicals that would boil at body temperature and catch fire if exposed to a flame and gasses that catch fire when in contact with air.

highlky flammable symbol

Highly flammable (F) - chemicals that may become hot and catch fire when in contact with air, only need brief contact with ignition source, highly flammable gases when in contact with water or damp air.


very toxic symbol

Very toxic (T+) - a highly hazardous substance which can cause chronic damage to the health or even death if inhaled or ingested or if it penetrates the skin even at very low levels.

toxic symbol

Toxic (T) - chemicals that at low levels cause damage to health such as drowsiness, concussion or death.

category 1 carcinogens symbol

Category 1 carcinogens (Carc Cat 1) - chemicals that may cause cancer or increase risk of developing cancer.

category 2 carcinogens

Category 2 carcinogens (Carc Cat 2)

category 3 carcinogens

Category 3 carcinogens (Carc Cat 3)

category 1 mutagens symbols

Category 1 mutations (Muta Cat 1) - chemicals that include heritable genetic defects or increase their incidence.

category 1 mutagens

Category 2 mutations (Muta Cat 2)

category 3 mutagens

Category 3 mutations (Muta Cat 3)

category 1 reproductive toxins

Category 1 reproductive toxins (Repr Cat 1) - chemicals that reproduce or increase the incidence of non-heritable effects in progeny and/or and impairment in reproductive functions or capacity.

category 2 reproductive toxins

Category 2 reproductive toxins (Repr Cat 2)

category 3 reproductive toxins

Category 3 reproductive toxins (Repr Cat 3)

harmful symbol

Harmful (Xn) - chemicals that may cause limited damage to health when they are inhaled, ingested or penetrate the skin.

corrosive symbol

Corrosive (C) - chemicals that may destroy living tissue on contact and cause severe burn injuries.

irritant symbol

Irritant (Xi) - non-corrosive chemicals that may cause inflammation, rashes, sores and blisters to the skin or other mucous membranes through immediate, prolonged or repeated contact.


dangerous for the environment symbol

Dangerous for the environment (N) - chemicals that may present either an immediate or delayed danger to one or more components of the environment.


Making an accident at work compensation claim today
If you have sustained workplace injuries or been harmed in an accident at work as a result of your employer's negligence then you may be entitled to make a compensation claim.

Our panel of personal injury solicitors are experts at dealing with accident at work cases and have an excellent claim success rate. They also work on a no win, no fee, risk-free basis.

We believe that if you have been hurt in an accident that wasn't your fault then you are well within your rights to gain compensation for your personal injuries.

You can either make your accident at work claim online by filling out one of our quick claim assessment forms or give our friendly claim advisors a call on 0800 197 32 32.