following information is from the Oklahoma State University website.
MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEETS (MSDS)
by Chemical Manufacturers or Importers to describe characteristics of the product and to provide information concerning potential
Must be readily
available for employee review at all times the employee is in the work place.
WHAT INFORMATION IS ON MSDS?
- Company Information
- Hazardous Ingredients
- Physical Data
- Fire and Explosion Hazard
- Health Hazard Data
- Reactivity Data
- Spill or Leak Procedures
- Special Protection Information
- Special Precautions
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a detailed
information bulletin prepared by the manufacturer or importer of a chemical that describes the physical and chemical properties,
physical and health hazards, routes of exposure, precautions for safe handling and use, emergency and first-aid procedures,
and control measures. Information on an MSDS aids in the selection of safe products and helps prepare employers and employees
to respond effectively to daily exposure situations as well as to emergency situations.
The MSDS/s are a comprehensive source of information
for all types of employers. There may be information on the MSDS that is not useful to you or not important to the safety
and health in your particular operation. Concentrate on the information that is applicable to your situation. Generally, hazard
information and protective measures should be the focus of concern.
Appendix II of the OSHA Hazard Communication Compliance
Kit contains a glossary of terms used on MSDS/s. Some employers who are not very familiar with chemical terminology may find
this helpful in reading and understanding MSDS/s.
Employers must maintain a complete and accurate MSDS
for each hazardous chemical that is used in the facility. They are entitled to obtain this information automatically upon
purchase of the material. When new and significant information becomes available concerning a product's hazards or ways to
protect against the hazards, chemical manufacturers, importers, or distributors must add it to their MSDS within three months
and provide it to their customers with the next shipment of the chemical. Employers must have an MSDS for each hazardous chemical
used in the workplace. If there are multiple suppliers of the same chemical, there is no need to retain multiple MSDS/s for
While MSDS/s are not required to be physically attached
to a shipment, they must accompany or precede the shipment. When the manufacturer/supplier fails to send an MSDS with a shipment
labeled as a hazardous chemical, the employer must obtain one form the chemical manufacturer, importer, or distributor as
soon as possible. Similarly, if the MSDS is incomplete or unclear, the employer should contact the manufacturer or importer
to get clarification or obtain missing information. (See Tab H in the OSHA Compliance Kit for sample letters requesting an
MSDS, or for additional information.)
When an employer is unable to obtain an MSDS from
a supplier or manufacturer, he/she should submit a written complaint, with complete background information, to the nearest
OSHA area office. (Although written complaints do not have to be submitted on an OSHA-7 Form, one is included on p. F-7 of
the OSHA Compliance Kit, and may be reproduced for your convenience.) OSHA will then, at the same time, call and send a certified
letter to the supplier or manufacturer to obtain the needed information. If the supplier or manufacturer still fails to respond
within a reasonable time, OSHA will inspect the supplier or manufacturer and take appropriate enforcement action.
Sections of an MSDS and Their Significance
OSHA specifies the information to be included on
an MSDS, but does not prescribe the precise format for an MSDS. A non-mandatory MSDS form (see OSHA Form 174 on page 6 of
this manual) that meets the Hazard Communication Standard requirements has been issued and can be used as is or expanded as
needed. The MSDS must be in English and must include at least the following information.
Section I. Chemical Identity
- The chemical and common
name(s) must be provided for single chemical substances.
- An identity on the MSDS
must be cross-referenced to the identity found on the label.
Section II. Hazardous Ingredients
- For a hazardous chemical
mixture that has been tested as a whole to determine its hazards, the chemical and common names of the ingredients that are
associated with the hazards, and the common name of the mixture must be listed.
- If the chemical is a mixture
that has not been tested as a whole the chemical and common names of all ingredients determined to be health hazards and comprising
1 percent or greater of the composition must be listed.
- Chemical and common names
of carcinogens must be listed if they are present in the mixture at levels of 0.1 percent or greater.
- All components of a mixture
that have been determined to present a physical hazard must be listed.
- Chemical and common names
of all ingredients determined to be health hazards and comprising less than 1 percent (0.1 percent for carcinogens) of the
mixture must also be listed if they can still exceed an established Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) or Threshold Limit Value
(TLV) or present a health risk to exposed employees in these concentrations.
Section III. Physical and Chemical Characteristics
- The physical and chemical
characteristics of the hazardous substance must be listed. These include items such as boiling and freezing points, density,
vapor pressure, specific gravity, solubility, volatility, and the product's general appearance and odor. These characteristics
provide important information for designing safe and healthful work practices.
Section IV. Fire and Explosion Hazard Data
- The compound's potential
for fire an explosion must be described. Also, the fire hazards of the chemical and the conditions under which it could ignite
or explode must be identified. Recommended extinguishing agents and fire-fighting methods must be described.
Section V. Reactivity Data
- This section presents information
about other chemicals and substances with which it reacts. Information on any hazardous decomposition products, such as carbon
monoxide, must be included.
Section VI. Health Hazards
- The acute and chronic health
hazards of the chemical, together with signs and symptoms of exposure, must be listed. In addition, any medical conditions
that are aggravated by exposure to the compound, must be included. The specific types of chemical health hazards defined in
the standard include carcinogens, corrosives, toxins, irritants, sensitizers, mutagens, teratogens, and effects on target
organs (i.e., liver, kidney, nervous system, blood, lungs, mucous membranes, reproductive system, skin, eyes, etc.).
- The route of entry section
describes the primary pathway by which the chemical enters the body. There are three principal routes of entry: inhalation,
skin, and ingestion.
- This section of the MSDS
supplies the OSHA PEL, the ACGIH TLV, and other exposure levels used or recommended by the chemical manufacturer.
- If the compound is listed
as a carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) by OSHA, the National Toxicology Program (NTP), or the International Agency for Research
on Cancer (IARC), this information must be indicated on the MSDS .
Section VII. Precautions for Safe Handling
- The standard requires the
preparer to describe the precautions for safe handling and use. These include recommended industrial hygiene practices, precautions
to be taken during repair and maintenance of equipment, and procedures for cleaning up spills and leaks. Some manufacturers
also use this section to include useful information not specifically required by the standard, such as EPA waste disposal
methods and state and local requirements.
Section VIII. Control Measures
- The standard requires the
preparer of the MSDS to list any generally applicable control measures. These include engineering controls, safe handling
procedures, and personal protective equipment. Information is often included on the use of goggles, gloves, body suits, respirators,
and face shields.
Employers must ensure that each employee has a basic
knowledge of how to find information on an MSDS and how to properly made use of that information. Employers also must ensure
- Complete and accurate MSDS/s
are made available during each work shift to employees when they are in their work areas.
- Information is provided
for each hazardous chemical.
Material Safety Data Sheet Checklist
You must ensure that each MSDS contains the following
- Product or chemical identity
used on the label.
- Manufacturer's name and
- Chemical and common names
of each hazardous ingredient.
- Name, address, and phone
number for hazard and emergency information.
- Preparation or revision
- The hazardous chemical's
physical and chemical characteristics, such as vapor pressure and flash point.
- Physical hazards, including
the potential for fire, explosion, and reactivity.
- Known health hazards.
- OSHA permissible exposure
limit (PEL), ACGIH threshold limit value (TLV) or other exposure limits.
- Emergency and first-aid
- Whether OSHA, NTP or IARC
lists the ingredient as a carcinogen.
- Precautions for safe handling
- Control measures such as
engineering controls, work practices, hygienic practices or personal protective equipment required.
- Primary routes of entry.
- Procedures for spills,
leaks, and clean-up.
Guide for Reviewing MSDS Completeness
OSHA Instruction CPL 2-2.38A, Office of Health
29 CFR 1910.1200(g) Material Safety Data Sheets
- Do chemical manufacturers
and importers have MSDS for each hazardous chemical produced or imported?
· Is each MSDS in English?
Does each MSDS contain at
least the following information:
- Identity used on the label?
o The chemical and common name(s) for single-substance hazardous chemicals?
- For mixtures tested as
- Does each MSDS contain
the chemical and common name(s) of the ingredients which contribute to these known hazards?
each MSDS contain the common name(s) of the mixture itself?
- For mixtures not tested
as a whole:
- Does each MSDS contain
the chemical and common name(s) of all ingredients which are health hazards (1% or greater), or in the case of carcinogens
(0.1% or greater)?
- Does each MSDS contain
the chemical and common name(s) of all ingredients which have been determined to present a physical hazard when present in
3. Does each MSDS contain the physical and chemical characteristics of the hazardous chemical (vapor pressure, flash point,
4. Does each MSDS contain the physical hazards of the hazardous chemical, including he potential for fire, explosion,
5. Does each MSDS contain the health hazards of the hazardous chemical (including signs and symptoms, medical conditions
6. Does each MSDS contain the primary routes of entry?
7. Does each MSDS contain the OSHA PEL? the ACGIH TLV? other exposure limit (including ceiling and other short-term limits)?
8. Does each MSDS contain information on carcinogen listings (reference OSHA regulated carcinogens, those indicated in
the National Toxicology Program (NTP) annual report and those listed by the International Agency for Research on Carcinogens
Note: Negative conclusions
regarding carcinogenicity or the fact that there is no information do not have to be reported unless there is a specific blank
for carcinogenicity on the form.
9. Does each MSDS contain general applicable procedures and precautions for safe handling and use of the chemical (hygienic
practices, maintenance and spill procedures)?
10. Does each MSDS
contain generally applicable control (engineering controls, work practices, or personal protective equipment)?
11. Does each MSDS
contain emergency and first aid procedures?
12. Does each MSDS
contain date of preparation or last change?
13. Does each MSDS
contain name, address and telephone number of responsible party?
14. Are all sections
of the MSDS completed?
Note: This is for use as an aid on inspections. It is NOT a form.
About MSDS Signs
even the slightest exposure to this substance would be life threatening. Only specialized protective clothing, for these materials,
should be worn.
Danger: serious injury would result from exposure to this substance. Do not expose any body surface to these materials. Full
protective measures should be taken.
exposure to this substance would be hazardous to health. Protective measures are indicated.
Hazard: irritation or minor injury would result from exposure to this substance. Protective measures are indicated.
exposure to this substance offers no significant risk to health.
Point Below 73ºF and Boiling Point Below 100ºF: this substance is very flammable, volatile or explosive depending on its state.
Extreme caution should be used in handling or storing of these materials.
Point Below 100ºF: flammable, volatile or explosive under almost all normal temperature conditions. Exercise great caution
in storage or handling of these materials.
Point Below 200ºF: moderately heated conditions may ignite this substance. Caution procedures should be employed in handling.
Point Above 200ºF: this substance must be preheated to ignite. Most combustible solids would be in this category.
Not Burn: substances that will not burn.
substances that are readily capable of detonation or explosion at normal temperatures and pressures. Evacuate area if exposed
to heat or fire.
substances that are readily capable of detonation or explosion by a strong initiating source, such as heat, shock or water.
Monitor from behind explosion-resistant barriers.
violent chemical changes are possible at normal or elevated temperatures and pressures. Potentially violent or explosive reaction
may occur when mixed with water. Monitor from a safe distance.
stable: substances that may become unstable at elevated temperatures and pressures or when mixed with water. Approach with
substances which will remain stable when exposed to heat, pressure or water.
SIGNS AND PLACARDS
The system is
characterized by the "diamond shape" that is actually a "square-on-point" shape. It identifies the hazards of a material
and the degree of severity of the health, flammability, and instability hazards. Hazard severity is indicated by a numerical
rating that ranges from zero (0) indicating a minimal hazard, to four (4) indicating a severe hazard. The hazards are arranged
spatially as follows: health at nine o'clock position, flammability at twelve o'clock position, and instability at three o'clock
position. In addition to the spatial orientation that can be used to distinguish the hazards, they are also color-coded as
follows: blue for health, red for flammability, and yellow for instability.
The six o'clock
position on the symbol represents special hazards and has a white background. The special hazards in use are W, which indicates
unusual reactivity with water and is a caution about the use of water in either fire fighting or spill control response, and
OX, which indicates that the material is an oxidizer.