14 New Uses for MSDS Sheets

December 17, 2013 Dave Weber No Comments



Do your MSDSs (Material Safety Data Sheets) just sit there collecting dust?  Your MSDSs have lots of great information in them, but how can you put this terrific information to good use?  Here are fourteen ways that I have used MSDSs that you might not have thought of –

  • If an employee gets sick or is injured and you suspect a chemical might be involved, send the MSDS sheet on that chemical to the clinic along with the employee.
  • Have a chemical spill?  Look up the recommended emergency, PPE, and clean up procedures in the MSDS on the spilled chemical.
  • Will you, or someone else be doing air testing in the future?  Be sure to give copies of the MSDSs on all chemicals being tested to the industrial hygienist who will be doing the air testing.
  • Give MSDSs on chemicals contractor employees will be working near to your contractor.
  • Make extra copies of MSDSs on the principle chemicals used in your plant and set them out on employee lunchroom tables.
  • Have injured employees on light duty update and clean up your MSDS ring binders.
  • Make a second copy of all MSDSs and keep them on hand as a readily available back up should something happen to your original set.
  • Have Hispanic employees?  Make a second complete set of MSDSs in Spanish.
  • In Canada, WHMIS requires that all MSDSs must have been written within the last three years.  All MSDSs should have the date they were published on them.  Replace any MSDSs you have that are older than three years old (even if you are not in Canada).
  • Review a different MSDS sheet at each tool box safety meeting or department safety meeting.
  • Do an “incompatibility audit” using your MSDSs to find chemicals that might react dangerously if they should accidentally come in contact with each other.
  • If you have a chemical spill kit,  put copies of the MSDSs on those chemicals most likely to be spilled inside the kit.
  • Ask your municipal fire department if they would like to have a copy of the MSDSs on the main chemicals used in your facility.
  • Laminate copies of MSDSs and hang them near where that chemcal is used.


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