A Training Program on Hazardous Materials for Non-Scientists

  • Aileen T. Compton
Part of the Advances in Risk Analysis book series (AEMB, volume 220)


It is imperative to educate and to train personnel at all levels in the organization on hazardous materials. Special concern is raised when the person to be trained has minimum education and experience in the basic physical and chemical sciences. These persons are indirectly involved in the use of chemicals through housekeeping, glassware cleaning, receiving and distributions, maintenance, building services, and intrasite transportation, of hazardous materials.

The two obstacles to overcome in the training are the trainee’s perception of hazard and risk, and the trainer’s anxiety to implement company policy, as well as meet regulatory compliance.

Effective training and education can be accomplished by establishing the following objectives for the outcome of the training:
  • To create a frame of reference for non-scientific persons to use in assessing hazard and risk

  • To establish a baseline for the training group members with respect to their perception of hazard and risk

  • To inform personnel on potential hazards, internal policies, procedures, programs, and available resources

Training time in one and a half to two hours. It requires active participation by the trainees. The training aides are household products that contain chemicals and texts on toxicology and hazardous materials.

The four basic components of the training session are:
  • Structured participation by the class

  • Discussion and preparation of a hazards sign and label

  • Slides on policies, programs, and regulations

  • Questions, answers, and open discussion on the work environment, home, or other topics of interest

This program is being used to make personnel aware of their work environment. It can be expanded to meet public education needs for the recent Right-to-Know legislation.

Key Words

Education/Training Hazardous Materials Training Toxic Materials Hazards Education Chemical Safety Right-to-Know Public Education Hazards Training Non-Scientist 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aileen T. Compton
    • 1
  1. 1.Smith Kline & French LaboratoriesPhiladelphiaUSA

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