What does MSDS stand for?

MSDS stands for Material Safety Data Sheet. An MSDS is a document that contains information related to a potentially hazardous material or substance that is found in a given workplace. MSDS is sometimes referred to simply as SDS (Safety Data Sheet) or PSDS (Product Safety Data Sheet). No matter what acronym is used, these documents are important for ensuring a facility is as safe as possible. Any company that uses, creates, sells, ships, or stores any type of hazardous material will need to take extra precautions by having an MSDS sheet on each of the materials that are used.

Are MSDS Necessary?MSDS binder

Having an MSDS on site for each hazardous material will help to ensure all the relevant information about the materials are available. Additionally, safety data sheets are required by OSHA standards as an important part of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS).

What Information is in a MSDS?

A material safety data sheet is a comprehensive document that details just about all the information one could ever need related to a given material. The main focus is to make sure the material can be used or stored safely, which means there will be a lot of information about the specific hazards of the material, how to respond to accidents, what actions to take if someone is exposed to it, and more.

An MSDS is broken down into multiple different sectionseach of which focuses on a different aspect of the material in question. For example, the standard categories are identification, hazard identification, composition or information on the ingredients, first aid measures, firefighting measures, accidental release measures, handling and storage, exposure controls & personal protection, physical and chemical properties, stability and reactivity, toxicological information, ecological information, disposal considerations, transportation information, regulatory information, and other information.

Having these documents kept in one convenient location within the facility will allow emergency responders, safety professionals, and others to access them when they are needed. It is also important to note that workers have a right to review any safety data fact sheet they want so they can be as informed as possible about the hazards of working with a given material.

Additional MSDS facts:

  • A safety data sheet (SDS), material safety data sheet (MSDS), or product safety data sheet (PSDS) is a document that lists information relating to occupational safety and health for the use of various substances and products. SDSs are a widely used system for cataloguing information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_data_sheet
  • MSDS is an older format that should be replaced by SDS, which is an internationally standardized Safety Data Sheet. MSDS sheets contain basically the same information as SDS, but the language and organization of the information may vary. Both MSDS and SDS are data sheets that describe the properties and hazards of a chemical. Source: https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-msds-605322
  • The MSDS is a detailed informational document prepared by the manufacturer or importer of a hazardous chemical. It describes the physical and chemical properties of the product. MSDS’s contain useful information such as flash point, toxicity, procedures for spills and leaks, and storage guidelines. Source: https://ehso.com/msds_regulations.php
  • A SDS follows the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. This is a 16-section format, written in English, that contains the following facts in the specified order: identification, hazards, composition, first aid, firefighting, accidental release, handling, exposure, physical, stability, toxicology, ecological, disposal, transport, regulatory, and other information. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_data_sheet

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