How to Write Your Own MSDS Sheets

September 6, 2012 Dave Weber No Comments



Writing Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) can be daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before.  I was responsible for writing the MSDS sheets for three companies I worked for.  Fortunately, I learned from the best – Jon N. Peace from Alcoa.  

Below are a few tips I learned from Jon that will help you to write professional MSDSs for your employer –

  • MSDSs for USA customers should follow the  ANSI Z400.1  format
  • MSDSs for Canadian customers should meet the Canadian  WHMIS  standard
  • List all hazardous components that constitute  > 1% of the product
  • List all carcinogens that constitute  > .1% of the product
  • A best practice is to list 100% of the ingredients, regardless if they are hazardous or not
  • List and describe all reasonably expected hazards
  • MSDSs are highly technical and should be written by (or at least reviewed and approved by) either a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) or a toxicologist (PhD & certified)
  • Revise and update the MSDS every three years (WHMIS requirement)
  • Provide an MSDS emergency hot-line number that is maned 24/7 by a qualified person
  • Forward your completed MSDSs toChemtrec” 
  • Write a one-page MSDS notification cover letter that will accompany each MSDS that is sent to a customer
  • Send out an MSDS with the first order received for that product from a customer
  • Send out a revised/updated MSDS with the first order after the revision
  • Resend MSDSs annually to each customer with their first order of that product in the new year
  • To review well written MSDSs click  here 


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