Material safety data sheet (MSDS) is a document that provides information about a controlled product which meets the hazard criteria defined in the Controlled Products Regulations and how to work safely with the controlled product.
The Material safety data sheet also contains information on the use, storage, handling and emergency procedures all related to the hazards of the material.
A Material safety data sheet (MSDS) is an important component of product stewardship, occupational safety & health, and spill-handling procedures. MSDS formats can vary from source to source within a country depending on national requirements. It is important to use an MSDS specific to both country and supplier, as the same product sold under identical brand names by the same company can have different formulations in different countries.
What products requires MSDS?
For emphasis sake, the products which requires MSDS are controlled products.
A controlled product is a hazardous material meeting the hazard criteria defined in the Controlled Products Regulations. So any product in this category requires MSDS.
MSDS information Sections
MSDS information is categorized into nine (9) sections, information captured in these sections of the material safety data sheet includes:
- Product Information: Product identifier (name), manufacturer and suppliers names, addresses, and emergency phone numbers, etc.
- Hazardous Ingredients like LD 50, LC 50, CAS number.
- Physical Data like the state of the chemical (E.g Liquid, gas), Specific gravity, Odour, pH, Vapour pressure, Freezing point, etc.
- Fire or Explosion Hazard Data: Upper explosion limit, Lower flammable limit, etc.
- Reactivity Data: Information on the chemical instability of a product and the substances it may react with.
- Toxicological Properties: Includes information like Irritancy level, Sensitization, Carcinogenicity, Reproductive toxicity, Teratogenicity, Mutagenicity, etc.
- Preventive Measures: Instruction for the safe use, handling and storage of the product, and choice of PPE (Personal protective equipment)
- First Aid Measures: First aid step in proper sequence in case of accident release and exposure.
- Preparation Information: Who is responsible for preparation and date of preparation of MSDS
Levels of responsibility regarding Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
The duty of controlling hazardous chemicals involves the Manufacturers/Suppliers, Employers and the Workers who uses the chemicals.
Below is the information regarding the different responsibilities regarding the use of MSDS:
Duties of the Manufacturer/Suppliers regarding MSDS
- Manufacturer/Suppliers must develop or obtain the MSDS for each controlled product imported or sold for use in a workplace
- Must ensure the MSDS for the controlled product discloses information that is current at the time of sale or importation of the product, was prepared and dated not more than three years before the date of sale or importation, is available in both official languages.
- Must ensure the purchaser of the controlled product has a copy of the current MSDS at the time of or prior to the purchaser receiving the controlled product.
Duties of the employer regarding MSDS
- The employer must ensure that an up-to-date supplier MSDS is obtained from the supplier the first time a controlled product is received in the workplace; evaluates the data sheet received to determine its date of production.
- Employers must maintain up-to-date MSDS as soon as practical, but not later than 90 days after new hazard information becomes available to the employer.
- The employer should ensure that a copy of all MSDS which are required for the workplace are made readily available at the worksite to workers who may be exposed to the controlled product and the workers should be educated on the procedures for safe use, storage, handling and disposal of controlled products including procedures in the event of an emergency involving the controlled product.
Duties of the workers exposed to the controlled product.
- Exposed workers should follow the safe work or preventative measures as instructed by the employer.
- Knows where the sheets are located and how to find pertinent information on safe use and emergency procedures.
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) revisions are required every 3 years or sooner if new product information is available.