Table of Contents
  1. Summary
  2. Purpose
  3. Helpful Links


A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), or Product Safety Data Sheet, is an element that contributes to workplace safety by offering important elemental information about particular products with which workers are using (or, in the case of an accident, to emergency personnel). These sheets have data, like the flash, boiling, and melting points of materials, health hazards, first aid notes, and other things, like how to dispose, store it, and what type of PPE (personal protective equipment) personnel should wear.


The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requires that Material Safety Data Sheets be made available to all employees and emergency personnel because of need to use potentially hazardous substances. These MSDS are expected to be created by the makers of all substances, due to the mix-ratios between differing brands.


In fact, in 1985, OSHA offered a recommended msds format “to assist manufacturers and importers who desired guidance on organizing MSDS information. When completed correctly, an MSDS prepared using Form 174 contains all of the information required by OSHA. However, Form 174 does not use the more organized and comprehensive 16-section format.” This format was created by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a way to standardize the way MSDS information is presented across the board, though it is not compulsory.

Helpful Links

Standards and Regulations

OSHA is charged with creating and issuing workplace health and safety regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. These rules cover such things as personal protective equipment (PPE), limits on hazardous chemical exposure, and requirements of safety procedures for many aspects of a work environment, such as safe practices for working around electricity (including the reference of standards created outside of its administration, like the NFPA 70e arc flash standards).

Other than the repeal of its ergonomics standards in 2001 (signed by George W. Bush), OSHA has never had any other regulations blocked by Congress.

Covering nearly 7 million workplaces with its regulatory arm, OSHA’s inspectors enforce its regulations with inspections and assess fines whenever a malfeasance of regulatory compliance is determined.

21 states currently have their own state-run occupational safety and health agencies to counter-balance the federal agency. These subject local industries to their laws when outside of federal jurisdiction.

Helpful Links

OSHA 10 and 30 Hour Programs

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