MSDSs

A major area that OSHA regulations address is the Hazard Communication Standard. The overall goal of the standard is to implement risk management and safety programs by regulated employers. According to the standard, employers must instruct employees on the nature and effects of the toxic substances with which they work, either in written form or in training programs. The instruction must include the following:

The chemical and common name of the substance The location of the substance in the workplace Proper and safe handling practices

First aid treatment and antidotes in case of overexposure The adverse health effects of the substance Appropriate emergency procedures Proper procedures for cleanup of leaks or spills Potential for flammability, explosion, and reactivity The rights of employees under this rule

Most of this information is available from the MSDS, 29 CFR 1910.1200, U.S. Department of Labor.

Employers must keep copies of MSDSs for each hazardous chemical in the workplace readily accessible to their employees. If the nature of the job is such that employees travel between different workplaces during a work shift, the MSDSs can be kept at a central location at the employer's primary facility.

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