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MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) requirements and Regulations

OSHA MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) Regulations

Overview

A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is required under the U.S. OSHA Hazard Communication Standard . Most developed countries have similar regulations and requirements.  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. Information included in a Material Safety Data Sheet aids in the selection of safe products, helps you understand the potential health and physical hazards of a chemical and describes how to respond effectively to exposure situations. Although there is an effort currently underway to standardizes MSDS’s the quality of individual MSDS’s vary. A MSDS may be useful but it can not substitute for prudent practices and comprehensive risk management. To prepare an MSDS in compliance with the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 for New Zea land, click here .

Summary of MSDS Requirements

The requirements for MSDSs are found in paragraph (g) of 29 CFR 1910.1200 (See below for the full text of the regulation). MSDSs must be developed for hazardous chemicals used in the workplace, and must list the hazardous chemicals that are found in a product in quantities of 1% or greater, or 0.1% or greater if the chemical is a carcinogen. The MSDS does not have to list the amount that the hazardous chemical occurs in the product. Specifically. bullet They are required as a part of any compliance obligation to be available and displayed prominently in the workplace. The public has a right to MSDS data upon request.
  bullet They must be written in English and contain: bullet the name of the chemical (same as on the label) bullet the chemical and common names of the substance bullet a listing of the ingredients bullet a statement of the ingredients that are known carcinogens or that present other known hazards bullet any specific hazards

In general, if your business uses hazardous chemicals (as opposed to manufacturing or importing them for sale to others) you should be able to obtain a MSDS from the manufacturer, so that you can post it in the workplace and keep it in your records.

If you are a manufacturer, who is looking for the MSDS form to create a sheet,  OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) specifies certain information that must be included on MSDSs, but does not require that any particular format be followed in presenting this information.

Full Text of the OSHA MSDS Regulations

The links take you to OSHA pages of interpretations.

1910.1200(g)

"Material safety data sheets."

1910.1200(g)(1)

Chemical manufacturers and importers shall obtain or develop a material safety data sheet for each hazardous chemical they produce or import. Employers shall have a material safety data sheet in the workplace for each hazardous chemical which they use.

1910.1200(g)(2)

Each material safety data sheet shall be in English (although the employer may maintain copies in other languages as well), and shall contain at least the following information:

1910.1200(g)(2)(i)

The identity used on the label, and, except as provided for in paragraph (i) of this section on trade secrets:

1910.1200(g)(2)(i)(A)

If the hazardous chemical is a single substance, its chemical and common name(s);

1910.1200(g)(2)(i)(B)

If the hazardous chemical is a mixture which has been tested as a whole to determine its hazards, the chemical and common name(s) of the ingredients which contribute to these known hazards, and the common name(s) of the mixture itself; or,

1910.1200(g)(2)(i)(C)

If the hazardous chemical is a mixture which has not been tested as a whole:

..1910.1200(g)(2)(i)(C)(1)

1910.1200(g)(2)(i)(C) (1)

The chemical and common name(s) of all ingredients which have been determined to be health hazards, and which comprise 1% or greater of the composition, except that chemicals identified as carcinogens under paragraph (d) of this section shall be listed if the concentrations are 0.1% or greater; and,

1910.1200(g)(2)(i)(C) (2)

The chemical and common name(s) of all ingredients which have been determined to be health hazards, and which comprise less than 1% (0.1% for carcinogens) of the mixture, if there is evidence that the ingredient(s) could be released from the mixture in concentrations which would exceed an established OSHA permissible exposure limit or ACGIH Threshold Limit Value, or could present a health risk to employees; and,

1910.1200(g)(2)(i)(C) (3)

The chemical and common name(s) of all ingredients which have been determined to present a physical hazard when present in the mixture;

1910.1200(g)(2)(ii)

Physical and chemical characteristics of the hazardous chemical (such as vapor pressure, flash point);

1910.1200(g)(2)(iii)

The physical hazards of the hazardous chemical, including the potential for fire, explosion, and reactivity;

1910.1200(g)(2)(iv)

The health hazards of the hazardous chemical, including signs and symptoms of exposure, and any medical conditions which are generally recognized as being aggravated by exposure to the chemical;

1910.1200(g)(2)(v)

The primary route(s) of entry;

..1910.1200(g)(2)(vi)

1910.1200(g)(2)(vi)

The OSHA permissible exposure limit, ACGIH Threshold Limit Value, and any other exposure limit used or recommended by the chemical manufacturer, importer, or employer preparing the material safety data sheet, where available;

1910.1200(g)(2)(vii)

Whether the hazardous chemical is listed in the National Toxicology Program (NTP) Annual Report on Carcinogens (latest edition) or has been found to be a potential carcinogen in the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Monographs (latest editions), or by OSHA;

1910.1200(g)(2)(viii)

Any generally applicable precautions for safe handling and use which are known to the chemical manufacturer, importer or employer preparing the material safety data sheet, including appropriate hygienic practices, protective measures during repair and maintenance of contaminated equipment, and procedures for clean-up of spills and leaks;

1910.1200(g)(2)(ix)

Any generally applicable control measures which are known to the chemical manufacturer, importer or employer preparing the material safety data sheet, such as appropriate engineering controls, work practices, or personal protective equipment;

1910.1200(g)(2)(x)

Emergency and first aid procedures;

1910.1200(g)(2)(xi)

The date of preparation of the material safety data sheet or the last change to it; and,

..1910.1200(g)(2)(xii)

1910.1200(g)(2)(xii)

The name, address and telephone number of the chemical manufacturer, importer, employer or other responsible party preparing or distributing the material safety data sheet, who can provide additional information on the hazardous chemical and appropriate emergency procedures, if necessary.

1910.1200(g)(3)

If no relevant information is found for any given category on the material safety data sheet, the chemical manufacturer, importer or employer preparing the material safety data sheet shall mark it to indicate that no applicable information was found.

1910.1200(g)(4)

Where complex mixtures have similar hazards and contents (i.e. the chemical ingredients are essentially the same, but the specific composition varies from mixture to mixture), the chemical manufacturer, importer or employer may prepare one material safety data sheet to apply to all of these similar mixtures.

1910.1200(g)(5)

The chemical manufacturer, importer or employer preparing the material safety data sheet shall ensure that the information recorded accurately reflects the scientific evidence used in making the hazard determination. If the chemical manufacturer, importer or employer preparing the material safety data sheet becomes newly aware of any significant information regarding the hazards of a chemical, or ways to protect against the hazards, this new information shall be added to the material safety data sheet within three months. If the chemical is not currently being produced or imported the chemical manufacturer or importer shall add the information to the material safety data sheet before the chemical is introduced into the workplace again.

Guidance about the hazard determination:

The chemical manufacturer or importer of a chemical is required to review available data about the hazards of the chemical and perform a hazard determination in accordance with the requirements of the standard. The hazard determination involves review of data about both health and physical hazards.
  bullet Small Business Handbook . OSHA Publication 2209-02R, (2005). Also available as a 260 KB PDF , 56 pages. bullet Chemical Hazard Communication . OSHA Publication 3084, (1998). Also available as a 284 KB PDF , 38 pages. Establishes uniform requirements to make sure that the hazards of all chemicals imported into, produced, or used in US workplaces are evaluated, and that this hazard information is transmitted to affected employers and exposed employees. bullet Frequently Asked Questions: Hazard Communication Standard (HAZCOM) . OSHA. Provides answers to frequently asked questions, and references applicable interpretation and compliance letters. bullet Chemical Safety . National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Safety and Health Topic. Provides a number of sources that can assist with hazard determinations and other parts of hazard communication. bullet Health & Safety Information on Household Products . US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institutes of Health (NIH). Provides information about chemical consumer products. bullet The National Toxicology Program's Report on Carcinogens (RoC) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer Monographs must be consulted when determining the carcinogenic potential of a chemical under the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). bullet Report on Carcinogens (RoC) . US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Toxicology Program (NTP). Identifies and discusses agents, substances, mixtures, or exposure circumstances that may pose a hazard to human health by virtue of their carcinogenicity. bullet Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) . Provides information about the toxic effects of chemicals. bullet Understanding Toxic Substances: An Introduction to Chemical Hazards in the Workplace . California Hazard Evaluation and Information Service (HESIS) and University of California, Berkeley, (1996, August). Answers basic questions and provides an extensive glossary of terms. Includes a checklist to aid a worker in gathering facts and getting answers regarding chemical exposure in the workplace. bullet Understanding Toxic Substances . Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. Available as a 153 KB PDF , 17 pages. Explains how chemicals can affect the body, what to look for when reading health information, the different types of exposure limits for chemicals in the workplace, tips on how to know if you are exposed, what you can do to reduce exposure, and where to go for additional information. Based upon the the previous reference. bullet The Chemical Reactivity Worksheet . National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Office of Response and Restoration (ORR), (2006, October 23). Includes a database of reactivity information for over 6,000 common hazardous chemicals, case histories on specific chemical incidents, with references, and features free, downloadable software to "mix" selected chemicals and predict their reactivity. This is the first page of the series, and additional pages, provide download instructions, FAQs, basic instructions, practice exercises, tips for users and a technical document with instructions for adding additional chemicals to the worksheet. bullet US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board . Provides a number of links to sites with information related to chemical safety. bullet For additional information, see OSHA's Safety and Health Topics Pages on: bullet Chemical Reactivity Hazards bullet Hazardous and Toxic Substances bullet Sampling and Analysis

 

..1910.1200(g)(6)

1910.1200(g)(6)

1910.1200(g)(6)(i)

Chemical manufacturers or importers shall ensure that distributors and employers are provided an appropriate material safety data sheet with their initial shipment, and with the first shipment after a material safety data sheet is updated;

1910.1200(g)(6)(ii)

The chemical manufacturer or importer shall either provide material safety data sheets with the shipped containers or send them to the distributor or employer prior to or at the time of the shipment;

1910.1200(g)(6)(iii)

If the material safety data sheet is not provided with a shipment that has been labeled as a hazardous chemical, the distributor or employer shall obtain one from the chemical manufacturer or importer as soon as possible; and,

1910.1200(g)(6)(iv)

The chemical manufacturer or importer shall also provide distributors or employers with a material safety data sheet upon request.

1910.1200(g)(7)

1910.1200(g)(7)(i)

Distributors shall ensure that material safety data sheets, and updated information, are provided to other distributors and employers with their initial shipment and with the first shipment after a material safety data sheet is updated;

1910.1200(g)(7)(ii)

The distributor shall either provide material safety data sheets with the shipped containers, or send them to the other distributor or employer prior to or at the time of the shipment;

..1910.1200(g)(7)(iii)

1910.1200(g)(7)(iii)

Retail distributors selling hazardous chemicals to employers having a commercial account shall provide a material safety data sheet to such employers upon request, and shall post a sign or otherwise inform them that a material safety data sheet is available;

1910.1200(g)(7)(iv)

Wholesale distributors selling hazardous chemicals to employers over-the-counter may also provide material safety data sheets upon the request of the employer at the time of the over-the-counter purchase, and shall post a sign or otherwise inform such employers that a material safety data sheet is available;

1910.1200(g)(7)(v)

If an employer without a commercial account purchases a hazardous chemical from a retail distributor not required to have material safety data sheets on file (i.e., the retail distributor does not have commercial accounts and does not use the materials), the retail distributor shall provide the employer, upon request, with the name, address, and telephone number of the chemical manufacturer, importer, or distributor from which a material safety data sheet can be obtained;

1910.1200(g)(7)(vi)

Wholesale distributors shall also provide material safety data sheets to employers or other distributors upon request; and,

1910.1200(g)(7)(vii)

Chemical manufacturers, importers, and distributors need not provide material safety data sheets to retail distributors that have informed them that the retail distributor does not sell the product to commercial accounts or open the sealed container to use it in their own workplaces.

..1910.1200(g)(8)

1910.1200(g)(8)

The employer shall maintain in the workplace copies of the required material safety data sheets for each hazardous chemical, and shall ensure that they are readily accessible during each work shift to employees when they are in their work area(s). (Electronic access, microfiche, and other alternatives to maintaining paper copies of the material safety data sheets are permitted as long as no barriers to immediate employee access in each workplace are created by such options.)

1910.1200(g)(9)

Where employees must travel between workplaces during a workshift, i.e., their work is carried out at more than one geographical location, the material safety data sheets may be kept at the primary workplace facility. In this situation, the employer shall ensure that employees can immediately obtain the required information in an emergency.

1910.1200(g)(10)

Material safety data sheets may be kept in any form, including operating procedures, and may be designed to cover groups of hazardous chemicals in a work area where it may be more appropriate to address the hazards of a process rather than individual hazardous chemicals. However, the employer shall ensure that in all cases the required information is provided for each hazardous chemical, and is readily accessible during each work shift to employees when they are in in their work area(s).

1910.1200(g)(11)

Material safety data sheets shall also be made readily available, upon request, to designated representatives and to the Assistant Secretary, in accordance with the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.1020(e). The Director shall also be given access to material safety data sheets in the same manner.

If you want to see the older OSHA form, you can see the OSHA 174 MSDS form online here OR download a blank MSDS form as Word rtf file here for free (right click and select "save target as" if you want to save a copy to your hard drive, where you can open it and work on it). !  

To find an MSDS, click here! For the dictionary of terms click here .  

This page was updated on 4-Mar-2014