Can an MSDS be Too Old?

Most safety professionals know that it is required to have a material safety data sheet, or MSDS, available on site for every hazardous chemical that is in the facility. These sheets include a lot of key information that will help those in the area to know the risks and know how to stay safe when working with or around the chemicals. In addition to simply having the sheets on site, employers also need to make sure that they are readily available for employees to review as needed so that they can be informed.

It is not enough for an employer to simply print off the MSDS for the chemicals that are on-site and then forget about it. An MSDS can become outdated or too old over time. This happens specifically when OSHA or another organization updates the safety information related to a given chemical. This could be done if new hazards are discovered about the chemical, or if the details just need to be updated. When a safety data sheet is updated, the updates are generally sent out to employers within three months so that the old ones can be swapped out.

It is the responsibility of the employer to make sure that they always have the latest version of the MSDS on site and in place. It is also necessary to dispose of the old version of the sheet so that no employees accidentally use it and have outdated information. Taking the time to keep MSDSs up to date is a key step in not only safety but also compliance.


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