What information is on an MSDS?

Material safety data sheets (MSDS) are important documents that contain information about hazardous chemicals in the workplace. These are a part of the globally harmonized system of classification and labeling of chemicals (GHS) and provide detailed information that can help people to learn about the various chemicals. These informative sheets are required for safety compliance in many countries around the world.

MSDS 101

An MSDS must contain a standard set of information so that those reading it have everything they need. The information is broken down into sixteen different sections, which not only helps to ensure everything is included, but also makes it easier to find the details that someone is looking for. This could be important in the event of a spill or accident where a proper response needs to happen right away.

The sixteen sections of an GHS MSDS are the identification of the chemical, the hazards identification, the ingredients or composition of the chemical, any first aid measures, firefighting measures, accidental release measures, how to handle and store the chemical, exposure controls, physical and chemical properties, stability and reactivity information, toxicological information, ecological information, disposal considerations, transportation information, regulatory information, and a section for other information specific to the chemical.

Each of these sections will contain a number of sub-sections based on the chemical being labeled. It is important to ensure the material safety data sheet is completely filled out with every required detail in order for it to be compliant. Fortunately, every chemical that is commonly used in the workplace will already have a MSDS created for it so employers do not need to write up their own. Simply downloading the complete MSDS and printing it off so that it is available will be sufficient. Having the MSDS in both physical and digital formats will make it easy to access whenever it is needed.

 

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