Course Description

Chemical agents, being at the core of modern industrial systems, has attained a very serious concern for disaster management within government and community. Chemicals such as chlorine, which were used during World War I as chemical weapons—is also key ingredient in numerous commercial products. Correct application of chemicals is very important. Appropriate use will be beneficial while misuse will bring disasters. This course will provide learners with an overview of issues in relation to chemical disasters due to industrial accidents, terrorism and war attack. In particular, it introduces the basics of chemical agents with health hazards, the immediate and chronic health effects of exposure to hazardous chemicals and the measures in prevention, preparedness and response to chemical disasters.

There are three sections in this e-learning module on chemical emergencies:

  • Section One is an introduction about chemical disaster and basic chemistry. It would elaborate the definition of chemical disasters and their usual causes. It would introduce the different categories of hazardous chemicals.
  • Section Two provides detailed information of different hazardous chemical agents:
    • Physical hazardous agents

        - Explosive/ flammable/ oxidizer/ compressed liquefied gas

    • Health hazardous agents

        - Nerve Agents/Pulmonary Agents/Blood Agents /Blister Agents/ Riot Control Agents

  • Section Three discusses measures in chemical disasters Preparedness, Protection and Response. It would cover the three important components of emergency response to chemical casualties, and provides an overview of suggestion for different parties of the community for better chemical disaster prevention and response. Appropriate HAZMAT scene management together with PPE donning and doffing would be demonstrated.


Although this module is primarily for the first responders to chemical emergencies, it is also suitable for the general public who are interested in knowing more about chemical disasters. The healthcare professionals may find it useful in case they want to refresh their HAZMAT knowledge. I hope you will join us in this learning experience.

Course Goals and Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain the different types of hazardous chemicals
  • Identify the health risks and consequences of exposure to hazardous chemicals
  • Demonstrate the important components for chemical disasters prevention, preparedness and response