Understanding how to locate, read and work with Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) is paramount to workplace safety for millions of workers who handle hazardous chemicals and substances. An MSDS, as discussed in OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard 29 (HCS) CFR 1910.1200, is, in essence, a hazardous chemical's handbook, containing all the information needed to safely work with the material and what its potential health effects are.
Acquired from the supplier upon purchase of a chemical or substance, the MSDS is a fundamental document for setting into place a complete hazard communications program that is part of a larger health and safety workplace culture. The MSDS contains hazard evaluations on the use, storage, handling and emergency procedures related to that material. Employers must maintain a complete and accurate MSDS for each hazardous chemical that is used in their facility.