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The symbol within the pictogram is a human skull with two crossed bones behind it. The symbol indicates that hazardous products with this pictogram can cause death or poisoning.
Hazardous products with this pictogram can be safely worked with if proper storage and handling practices are followed.
Only one WHMIS 2015 hazard class uses the skull and crossbones pictogram – Acute toxicity. This hazard class is different than other hazard classes because it individually considers each applicable route of exposure - oral (swallowed or ingested), dermal (skin contact) and inhalation (breathing).
There are 4 categories in the Acute toxicity hazard class, but the skull and crossbones pictogram is only assigned to 3 categories for each route of exposure:
The exclamation mark pictogram is assigned to Category 4 for each route of exposure.
Acute toxicity refers to effects occurring:
Acute toxicity can result from exposure to the product itself, or to a product that, upon contact with water, releases a gaseous substance that is able to cause acute toxicity.
The WHMIS 2015 signal words and hazard statements for the hazard classes and categories assigned the skull and crossbones pictogram are:
|Hazard Class and Category||Signal Word||Hazard Statement|
|Acute toxicity (Oral) – Category 1 and Category 2||Danger||Fatal if swallowed.|
|Acute toxicity (Oral) – Category 3||Danger||Toxic if swallowed.|
|Acute toxicity (Dermal) – Category 1 and Category 2||Danger||Fatal in contact with skin.|
|Acute toxicity (Dermal) – Category 3||Danger||Toxic in contact with skin.|
|Acute toxicity (Inhalation) – Category 1 and Category 2||Danger||Fatal if inhaled.|
|Acute toxicity (Inhalation) – Category 3||Danger||Toxic if inhaled.|
A supplementary hazard statement is required if the product, upon contact with water, releases a gas that can cause acute toxicity. In this situation, the required statement for a gas that is:
In addition to the specific hazards identified by the skull and crossbones pictogram, it is important to remember that the product may have other hazards, for example:
ALWAYS check the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and label for the product that you are working with to make sure that you know what is being used and all of the hazards associated with the product. Ask questions if you are not sure.
Understand and practice emergency procedures so that you know what to do if it becomes necessary.