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Safety Data Sheets: Why They’re Critical for Any Business

Does your business need safety material safety data sheets (MSDS)?

If you work with hazardous materials in any capacity, you’ve probably come across the term safety data sheets. But what are they exactly? And do you really need them?

The short answer is yes, you do need them, and ignoring advice on MSDS’ can have disastrous consequences.

Below, we’ll go into the reasons you need MSDS sheets. Keep reading to learn more!

1. What Are MSDS?

MSDS, also called safety data sheets (SDS), are lists of materials used in a product.

They include hazardous materials, along with statements from the manufacturers about those materials. If something is flammable, for instance, the manufacturer must label it as such.

MSDS sheets remain important because they keep the people who purchase and use the materials safe. If it weren’t for MSDS, consumers might improperly use something and cause a preventable dangerous situation.

2. The Law

The government requires manufacturers to provide information on hazardous materials to people who purchase their products.

OSHA directs people in charge of making MSDS with clear directions on how to create their sheets. First, the manufacturer should identify the chemicals involved, give a suggested use for the chemical, and provide contact information for their company.

Why is contact information needed? If someone wishes to contact the maker of a product and ask if an item is safe to use in a specific situation, they may do so.

Next, manufacturers should state if the chemicals are used in combination with any other chemicals. If necessary, add advisory statements and warnings against improper chemical usage.

3. Emergency Procedures

OSHA also asks manufacturers to note down proper emergency procedures to follow should an accident occur.

Emergency procedures should include instructions for handling materials, such as sodium carbonate, should they get on someone’s skin, clothes, or eyes. They should also include any symptoms a person might experience after handling the materials.

If the chemicals can cause serious medical issues, the MSDS needs to include information on when to seek medical help.

If applicable, there should also be instructions about how to safely clean up any spills.

4. Who Should Pay Attention to MSDS?

If you’re someone handling a chemical, you should pay attention to the MSDS. Whether you are using it for personal or professional reasons, you should be aware of the harmful effects it can bring about.

This is particularly important for school labs. If you are in charge of overseeing untrained people in a laboratory environment, make sure you have thorough knowledge about what is dangerous.

When possible, communicate the dangers to your students. Don’t allow them to use the chemicals unsupervised, and know which measures to take if something goes wrong.

Need More Information for Your Business?

Navigating MSDS is only one part of running your business.

You have employees to manage and financial decisions to make. You also need to deal with any hiccups that come along the way.

This all can be stressful, but fortunately, we can take some of that stress away. We publish up-to-date business advice, giving you all the resources you need to successfully run your company.

Have questions? Read more today!


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