What is a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)?
A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a document that contains information on the potential hazards of (health, fire, reactivity and environmental) and how to work safely with the chemical product. It is an essential starting point for the development of a complete health and safety program. It is intended to tell what the hazards of the product are, how to use the product safely, what to expect if the recommendations are not followed, what to do if accidents occur, how to recognize symptoms of overexposure, and what to do if such incidents occur.
What information is on the MSDS?
There are nine (9) categories of information that must be present on an MSDS in Canada. These categories are specified in the Controlled Products Regulations and include:
- Product Information: product identifier (name), manufacturer and suppliers names, addresses, and emergency phone numbers
- Hazardous Ingredients
- Physical Data
- Fire or Explosion Hazard Data
- Reactivity Data: information on the chemical instability of a product and the substances it may react with
- Toxicological Properties: health effects
- Preventive Measures
- First Aid Measures
- Preparation Information: who is responsible for preparation and date of preparation of MSDS
The Controlled Products Regulations prescribes what information must be present in more detail.