MSDS known as Material Safety Data Sheets. You should see these manuals around your workplace with the big letters of MSDS. Normally they are yellow or blue binders holding pages of data sheets.

In a large hotel casino the safety manager should house all the data binders but each area of the hotel and casino should house their Material Safety Data Sheets specific to their area.

The purchasing department is required to receive the Material Safety Data Sheet before the item is sent to the property and the Safety Manager must okay the chemical before it arrives.

If you have a security team responsible to respond to incidents they must have the MSDS binders immediately nearby to give the information to EMT’’s or paramedics when they arrive to treat the injured worker. These binders must be checked on a log and someone must be responsible to review each product being used on the shelf and make sure that Material Safety Data Sheet in available. Most binders have an alpha listing in the front of the binder. It is a good idea to list it by its chemical name but some maintenance, housekeeping or garden workers call certain chemicals by a number. If someone got exposed to a chemical they would go to the binder and look for #9 and will not find it unless you have it listed both ways. OSHA inspectors will look in the binder for the specific name or your safety rep and they would not know it was called #9 so again it is a good idea to list it both ways so all people can locate the correct Material Safety Data Sheets.

Material Safety Data Sheets in the past have been a nightmare and frequently cited in an OSHA Citation. There are companies now on the internet that provide a volume of Material Safety Data Sheets so you can immediately down load the sheet and keep your binder up to date. They cannot be used on this site alone, you must keep the binder. If the electric or computer goes out and these Material Safety Data Sheets are not readily available an OSHA Citation will be issued.

Material Safety Data Sheets are not all created equal and some are very hard to understand.

Over the past few years

Management of these sheets is valuable. It is required that you have the sheets in multiple languages if you have a diversified work force. Also each and every container must have labels to identify the products. If plastic bottles are being used on the premises and there is no label of the chemical, again you will receive an OSHA Citation.

Remember compliance, compliance to avoid an OSHA Citation on Material Safety Data Sheets.

As regulations and enforcement tighten, here is a small list of some exposure types and why you must keep the information on file:

1 Acute toxicity (any route of entry)
2. Skin corrosion/irritation
3. Serious eye damage/eye irritation
4. Respiratory or skin sensitizer
5. Germ cell mutagenicity
6. Carcinogenicity
7 Reproductive toxicity Specific target organ systemic toxicity–single exposure Specific target organ systemic toxicity–repeated use Aspiration hazard

For those of us who have this task, and are abiding by the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, we have to ensure that each Material Safety Data Sheet is current within three years to qualify as a part of your program requirements.

Material safety data sheets are the heart of the Hazard Communication Standard. OSHA is currently working on the specifics of the sheets and how to revise them.

Chemical manufacturers and importers shall obtain or develop a material safety data sheet for each hazardous chemical they produce or import. Employers shall have a material safety data sheet in the workplace for each hazardous chemical they use.

Each material safety data sheet shall be in English but again having a diversified workforce you must provide them in the language that can read and understand. Even though a lot of employees sign work agreements that they can read and understand English it is only common words and you should give several lessons on Material Safety Data Sheets in the applicable departments for your protection against a fine or serious injury that someone might not have been able to review the Material Safety Data Sheet on how to treat/respond to the incident.

The identity used on the label is very important to find the correct MSDS.

Sheet must show the health hazards of the hazardous chemical, including signs and symptoms of exposure, and any medical conditions which are generally recognized as being aggravated by exposure to the chemical.

It must show the primary route(s) of entry in the body.

Material Safety Data Sheets must show applicable control measures which are known to the chemical manufacturer, importer or employer preparing the material safety data sheet, such as appropriate engineering controls, work practices, or personal protective equipment.

It must include emergency and first-aid procedures.

The employer shall maintain in the workplace copies of the required material safety datasheets for each hazardous chemical, and shall ensure that they are readily accessible during each work shift to employees when they are in their work areas. Electronic access, microfiche, and other alternatives to maintaining paper copies of the material safety data sheets are permitted as long as no barriers to immediate employee access in each workplace are created by such options.

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