What Is a Material Safety Data Sheet and Why Is It Important? A Guide
In 2020 alone, there were over 15,000 incidents with hazardous materials in the United States.
This can include everything from a material spilling at a worksite to an environmental disaster. To protect both workers and the public, it’s important that everyone knows what to do if they encounter hazardous material.
This is where material safety data sheets (MSDS) come in. But what is a material safety data sheet? And how does it affect you?
In this guide, we’ll answer all your questions about material safety data sheets and why they’re so important.
Read on to learn more!
What’s Material Safety Data Sheet?
A material safety data sheet is a document that contains information on the potential hazards of a material.
It’s important to have an up-to-date MSDS for any material you are working with, as it can help you handle and use the material safely.
You can obtain an MSDS can from the supplier of said material or from various online resources such as KHA services. It’s vital to review it before working with any material and keep it up-to-date if its properties change.
Importance of Material Safety Data Sheet
Material safety data sheet is an essential aspect of any workplace that handles hazardous materials. If you’re wondering why, here are a few reasons:
The information provided in the material safety data sheet will tell you if the material needs storing under certain conditions. Such as away from heat or open flames. It may also describe any hazardous material reactions that could occur while the material is being stored.
The material safety data sheet will tell you if the material is flammable or combustible. In addition, it may include information about what protective equipment you should wear when handling the material. It may also provide information about cleaning up any material spillage safely.
The material safety data sheet will also describe any health effects that result from touching the material. However, it’s still important to consider the potential long-term health effects of working with certain materials, which can sometimes be difficult to identify immediately.
Disposing of Materials
The material safety data sheet will provide information about the safest way to dispose of the material. Disposing of materials in the wrong way can cause environmental damage and may be dangerous for people and animals.
For example, some materials need to be disposed of in a particular way so that the chemicals do not contaminate water supplies. Others may need an incinerator, a facility that burns waste material to produce energy.
Emergency Preparedness and Product Recalls
An MSDS will also include contact information for the material supplier in case of an emergency. For example, this information can be useful if there is a chemical spill or other accident involving the material.
If material is recalled, the supplier will usually send an MSDS to the people who have bought it. This MSDS will include information about what to do if you have the material.
Product Safety Research and Liability Lawsuits
Researchers can also use a material safety data sheet as a research tool. For example, if new material has not been studied before, researchers can use the information in an MSDS to determine if the material is safe to use.
If there is an accident involving material and someone sustains injuries, the material supplier may be held liable. The material safety data sheet can serve as evidence in court to show that the supplier was aware of the potential hazards of the material.
Chemical Inventory Management
An MSDS can help create a chemical inventory, which is a list of all the materials used in a workplace. This can be useful for assessing the risks associated with each material and for creating emergency response plans.
A material safety data sheet also provides details about the material’s Chemical Abstracts Service number. This is an identification number given to each chemical substance by the American Chemical Society. The MSDS will include this information to make it easier to check for more information about a material through other sources.
Identify a Material in an Emergency
In the event of an emergency, it is important to identify the material that is causing the problem quickly.
The datasheet will have the relevant information about the material. And that will include its chemical composition and any potential hazards. This information can help develop an emergency response plan.
Select the Appropriate PPE and Train Workers
The type of personal protective equipment (PPE) that is necessary when working with a material depends on the specific hazards posed by that material. An MSDS will list all of the potential hazards associated with the material. It’ll list what types of PPE are appropriate to protect against these hazards.
All workers who will be handling material should receive safety training. The material safety data sheet can be part of this training, as it provides all of the relevant information about a material’s hazards. This way, workers will be able to recognize any potential dangers and know how to protect themselves.
Develop Material Usage Procedures
If material is being used in any unusual ways, this should be documented and communicated to other workers. All material usage procedures should be listed in the material safety data sheet.
If the material poses any special risks, then these should also be included. For example, you may need to wear different types of PPE when working with materials stored under pressure compared to a material that is not.
Material Safety Data Sheet Basics You Need To Know
A material safety data sheet is a document that lists the hazards associated with a particular material. It’s important to read an MSDS before working with any material, as it will tell you how to safely handle and dispose of the material.
An MSDS can also help train workers, select personal protective equipment, and select engineering controls. This makes it vital to have one. If you found this article informative, check out our blog for more.