T HE S C H O O L D I S T R I C T
M.S.D.S. Material Safety Data Sheets
Joint Labor / Management Safety Committee
The Joint Labor / Management Safety Committee asks that all employees of the district join us in raising awareness of the monthly safety topic by sharing the enclosed information with others.
This is a monthly publication providing appropriate safety information on a different topic each month.
April 2005 Is M.S.D.S Awareness Month
Please post in a prominent location in your workplace for other employees to see. Do you have a “Safety Bulletin Board” at your building/
Material Safety Data Sheet Awareness Information
Many of the Chemicals We Work With Can Be Hazardous
Most of us encounter chemicals in the workplace every day. They are used in many processes, and are essential to our job. However, may of these chemicals can be hazardous if we don’t take the proper precautions. There are many types of potentially hazardous chemicals: • Flammables. • Corrosives • Irritants. • Sensitizers. • Poisons. • Carcinogens. Each chemical has its own set of hazards. And each of them requires different safety precautions. Often, recommended emergency procedures are also different. In order to work with these chemicals safely, we need to answer several questions: • How should we handle and store them? • What Personal Protective Equipment should we use when we work with them? • What should we do in an emergency, like a spill or leak, which involves the chemical?
OSHA Does Not Require a Standard M.S.D.S Format
The answers to these questions can be found on a hazardous chemical’s “Material Safety Data Sheet” (MSDS). It provides detailed information about the chemical, including its hazards. It also tells us how to deal with these hazards, so we can work with the chemical safely. OSHA requires that all chemical suppliers provide their customers with MSDS on their products, and that the MSDS contain a specific set of information about the chemical.
However, OSHA does not require that MSDS come in a standard format. As a result: • MSDS come in a variety of forms. • Data can be arranged in different ways. Without a standard format, it can be difficult to find the information that you need... especially in an emergency. Also, many MSDS are written in ‘technical” language, which an be difficult to understand.
The ANSI Format Makes MSDS Easier to Use
To solve these problems, The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), together with the Chemical Manufacturers Association, developed a standard format for MSDS. While use of this format is voluntary, many chemical manufacturers, as well as major user, have already adopted the format. The goal of the format is to make MADS easier to read. To do this: • Information is presented in a “as needed” order. • Emergency instructions are provided up front. • Basic safety information is presented next. • Technical data is given later. The ANSI MSDS is designed to answer four basic questions about a potentially hazardous chemical: • What is the material and what are its hazards? • What should I do if a problem occurs when I am working with the material? • What precautions should I take to prevent problems when I work with this substance? • Is there anything else I should know about this material? Sections # 1 And # 2 Describe the Material Itself This is often the same type of information that can be found on the chemical’s label. Section # 1 of the MSDS identifies the material, and lists several pieces of information: • Manufacturer’s name, address and telephone number • Specific product name. • Generic chemical names. • Common industry name. • An emergency telephone number may also be listed.
Section # 2 provides information on the ingredients in the material. OSHA requires that all hazardous components of the material be listed on the MSDS. Non-hazardous ingredients may also be included by the supplier, since they are often helpful in determining how to best use and store the material. Hazards Are Listed in Section # 3 Section #3 of the ANSI Material Safety Data Sheet identifies the hazards of the material. The section is divided into two sub-sections. The first sub-section provides an “Emergency Overview of Especially Important Information” The second sub-section discusses the chemicals “Potential Health Effects”. The Emergency Overview is presented first so that it is easy to access. It describes the material’s appearance, and includes: • Physical form. • Shape. • Color. • Odor. The Overview also addresses hazards that need immediate attention in an emergency. These are the same warnings that are often found on the chemical’s Container Label. The “Potential Health Effects” sub-section gives more detailed information about the dangers of being exposed to the chemical, including: • Routes of Entry. • Types of health effects and their severity. • “Target Organs” that may be affected. • Symptoms of exposure. Section # 4 Provides First Aid Information Section #4 of the ANSI MSDS outlines basic First Aid measures that can be used by an untrained individual. Instructions are given according to the type of exposure that the victim has suffered. For instance, skin contact may call for removal of contaminated clothing and washing skin with soap and water. Eye contact may require you to “immediately flush the eyes with plenty of water, for at least fifteen minutes”. It is important to know the appropriate First Aid measures before you begin work with a hazardous material. That way, if something does happen, you will be able to take action immediately.
You should also know the locations of the following things in your work area: • First Aid Kits. • Safety showers. • Eye wash stations Further preparing yourself to be able to help in a situation where First Aid is required is also a plus. Taking Rescue Breathing and CPR courses is always a good idea. Sections # 5 and # 6 Address Firefighting and Spill Clean-up Section # 5 of the Material Safety Data Sheet provides information, precautions and instructions for fight fires. This includes: • The chemical’s “Flammable Properties” (this helps to design Safe Work Practices for using the chemical). • Hazards that the material can present if it burns. • “Extinguishing Media” that can be used to put out a fire involving the chemical. Additionally, section # 5 includes information abut (PPE), Personal Protective Equipment that should be used when fighting fires. There is also a “Fire Fighting Instructions” sub-section. This provides detailed information about basic firefighting strategies that can be used with various types of fires. Section # 6 lists information in case of spills, leaks and other releases. This includes information about: • Containing a spill or release. • Clean-up procedures. • Decontaminating equipment and clothing. • Any “spill reporting” requirements.
“Handling and Storage” is listed next
Section #7 of the MSDS begins to answer the question “What can I do to prevent problems when I work with this material? The “Handling and Storage” practices you will see here are often the same as instructions on handling and storage that you will find on the Container Label.
Section # 7 also provides information on the “Storage Conditions” that are needed for the material and its container. This includes: • Optimum storage temperature. • Required humidity levels. • Needed Atmospheric Pressure. • Ventilation requirements. • The material’s sensitivity to vibration • Permissible exposure to light. It is very important to conform to all of the storage requirements listed in this section, since improper storage is the cause of many workplace accidents involving hazardous chemicals. Section # 8 Covers Controls and Protective Equipment Section # 8 in the MSDS deals with Engineering Controls, Personal Protective Equipment and Exposure Guidelines. The “Engineering Controls” sub-section discusses issues such as whether the material will require a fully enclosed exhaust system, or whether a local system will do. “Personal Protective Equipment” also has its own sub-section. It lists the type of equipment that must be work to minimize the risk of exposure when working with the chemical. The section also provides instructions about avoiding respirator hazards, skin contact and other types of exposure. Section # 8 also provides “Exposure Guidelines” for the material and its hazardous ingredients, including” • Threshold Limit Values (TLV’s). • Permissible Exposure Limits (PEL’s) This information helps to determine what Engineering Controls and Protective Equipment are necessary when working with a chemical. Section # 9 And # 10 Address “Properties And Stability” Section # 9 of the ANSI MSDS describes the Physical and Chemical Properties of the material. Precautions are listed describing the hazards the chemical has under normal conditions. This section also tells you if specific processes, such as heating or cooling, can create a different set of hazards. Often, information in this section helps to determine what “Safe Work Practices” should be used when working with the chemical.
Section # 10 Contains information on “Stability and Reactivity” of the chemical This information indicates whether the chemical has the potential to “react” with another substance through: • • • • Oxidation Heat. Decomposition. Polymerization.
Section # 10 also indicates whether the material is chemically stable (or unstable) under normal conditions. This information helps to determine what safe handling, storage, transportation and disposal procedures should be used, as well as conditions to avoid when working with the material.
Toxological and Ecological Data Is In Sections # 11 through #13
Sections # 11 through # 13 deal with Toxological and Ecological information. They also discuss how the chemical should be disposed of. Section # 11 gives Toxological information and deals with any human health hazards that the material has. Section # 12 discusses the chemical’s effect on plants, wildlife and other parts of the environment. Section # 13 gives information on how to safely dispose of waste that contains the chemical. This information starts to answer the fourth question that the ANSI Material Safety Data Sheet Addresses. “Is there anything else I should know about this material?” Most of this information is used under the guidance of Health and Safety Professionals. Employers sometimes also use information in these sections, as well as in section #14 through # 16 to help them set up safe “Standard Operating Procedures” for using the chemical.
Section #14 through # 16 Cover Transport and Regulatory Data Section # 14 “Transport Information”. One of the most important things it discusses is what packaging and shipping procedures to use when handling the chemical so that it will “travel” safety. Additionally, this section includes requirements that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has for dealing with the chemical and may also address International Shipping Regulations, (which can often be significantly different from DOT requirements), as well. Section # 15 addresses three types of “non-transport” regulatory information that affect the material: • • • Federal. State International
Section # 16 contains other information about the material, such as: • • • Text that appears on the chemical’s container label. A “key” for Hazard Ratings and Symbols. A list of references for additional information.
Remember: • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are essential tools fro working with hazardous materials. • Make sure you know where MSDS are kept for the chemicals in your work area. • Know how the information in the MSDS you use is organized. • Take the time to become familiar with the MSDS for the materials you work with. • Read MSDS before beginning work. • Consult the MSDS for the materials you work with while you use them. • Always know where to find information on an MSDS in times of emergency.
Not all MSDS are in the ANSI format yet but they all contain the same information. So knowing how to work with the ANSI MSDS will make it easier to do your job safety no matter what type of MSDS you see.