An Overview of Material Safety Data Sheet

MSDSs are specified by section 1910.1200(g) of the HCS (enclosed). The MSDS lists the hazardous substances of a product along with its physical and chemical characteristics and its effect on human health. It also provides detailed information on the chemicals with which it can adversely react, how to handle them, its precautionary measures, methods to prevent a spill and first aid procedures. With every new regulatory information made available, the msds services system must be updated with the same.

It is mandatory for chemical companies to provide MSDS information to their employees. This will protect them from hazardous chemical exposures, be ready with first aid and even work safely with the chemical products.It is necessary to revise each MSDS as often as possible or once in every 5 years to make sure that the information is accurate and up to date.

MSDSs provide information on:

  • The manufacturer or importing supplier.
  • Details of the product like its name, ingredients and properties.
  • How the product can affect people‚Äôs health.
  • Precautions for using and storing it safely.

The MSDS must be written in English, be legible and include the following information:

  • The name of the product mentioning its hazardous substance.
  • The name, address and contact details of the manufacturer and importing supplier.
  • Emergency contact details for information in the event of an emergency.
  • The MSDS data recently updated and when was it last reviewed.
  • A statement that the substance is a hazardous substance (if applicable).
  • Details about the shipping with its name, UN number, class, subsidiary risk and packing group for dangerous goods.
  • Classification of the hazard and hazardous substances.
  • The risk and safety phrases for hazardous substances
  • The proportion or proportion ranges of the ingredients required to be identified with a chemical or generic name.
  • First aid measures to be taken.
  • Required emergency procedures.
  • Any other relevant health hazard information.
  • The chemical and physical properties of the substance and its ingredients including any hazardous decomposition if any.

Employers using or storing dangerous goods or hazardous substances in their premises must ensure that:

  • They obtain an up to date MSDS for each of the products stored with them.
  • Their employees, contractors and emergency services personnel must have access to the updated MSDS.

Products likely to be generated during normal use:

  • Precautionary measures for the safe use of the substance, including engineering controls and personal protective equipment must be mentioned.
  • Precautions for the safe storage and disposal of the substance.
  • The standard of exposure (if any) for the hazardous substances and its ingredients.
  • Information on the health effects of the substance and its ingredients.

In Canada and other North American countries, every material that is controlled by WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) must be accompanied by MSDS. It is specific to each individual product and material (both the product name and supplier on the MSDS must match the material in use).

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