Material Safety Data Sheets
What are Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)?
A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is designed to provide both workers and emergency personnel with the proper procedures for handling or managing a particular substance. A MSDS' include information such as physical data (melting point, boiling point, flash point etc.), toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill/leak procedures. This information is particularly important if a spill or other type of accident occurs.
MSDS's vary in length depending on their format, content, and font size. We have seen them from 1 to 10 pages, with most being 2 to 4 pages.
Who are MSDSs for?
MSDSs are meant for :
- Employees who may be occupationally exposed to a hazard at work.
- Employers who need to know the proper methods for storage, etc.
- Emergency responders such as fire fighter, hazardous material crews, emergency medical technicians, and emergency room staff.
According to the OSHA Standard 1910.1200 (the OSHA Haz-com standard), a hazardous chemical is one which is a physical or health hazard.
Health hazard means a chemical for which there is statistically significant evidence based on at least one study conducted in accordance with established scientific principles that can cause acute or chronic health effects in exposed employees. The term " ealth hazard" includes chemicals such as, carcinogens, toxic or highly toxic agents, reproductive toxins, irritants, corrosives, sensitizers, hepatotoxins, nephrotoxins, neurotoxins, agents which act on the hematopoietic system, and agents which damage the lungs, skin, eyes, or mucous membranes.
A physical hazard means a chemical for which there is scientifically valid evidence that it is a combustible liquid, compressed gas, explosive, flammable, an organic peroxide, an oxidizer, pyrophoric, unstable (reactive) or water-reactive.
You can search online for the MSDS you need for each chemical that you have and manage.