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Definition - What does Contaminant mean?

A contaminant refers to any substance (biological, chemical, physical, or radiological) that poses as a legitimate hazard in the workplace that could compromise the health of an individual. Many industries serve as hotbeds for contaminants to exist (and thrive), depending on the circumstances and medium; for example, healthcare settings with poor sanitary conditions can exacerbate associated risks with bacteria, parasites, and viruses.

SureHire explains Contaminant

Regular exposure to contaminants can occur in the natural environment or can stem from manufacturing conditions and processes where inhalation of dust particles and chemical byproducts (i.e., fumes, mists, vapors) are primary culprits. Although contaminants are an industry-wide problem, the exposure rate varies across business sectors, engaging businesses to draw from pooled resources available via a federal database system covering guidelines and laws that protect employees against diseases and illnesses. For example, individuals may perform essential job tasks that involve handling chemical solutions (i.e. pesticides), fibrous materials (i.e. asbestos), and metal bases (i.e. lead) that are considered airborne contaminants which may cause individuals to develop respiratory health issues.

A proactive approach toward limiting or preventing contaminants inside the workplace involves putting measures and monitoring systems into place to protect your employees. For instance, if airborne contaminants are a concern on a particular worksite, testing indoor air quality and installing ventilation systems to filter and diffuse clean, purified air are methods that may be appropriate.

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