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|This course includes many hyperlinks to our MSDS Hyperglossary and outside sources to help you out as you read. Please take advantage of these! Note: outside links will open in a new window.|
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The purpose of this OSHA standard is "to ensure that the hazards of all chemicals produced or imported are evaluated, and that information concerning their hazards is transmitted to employers and employees. This transmittal of information is to be accomplished by means of comprehensive hazard communication programs, which are to include container labeling and other forms of warning, material safety data sheets (MSDS's) and employee training."
Additional federal, state and local agencies also mandate content of these sheets. For example, the Community Right to Know Law (SARA Title III) falls under the domain of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If you are unsure which regulations apply to you, contact both your state and federal OSHA offices to find out.
A MSDS must provide a variety of fundamental information related to the chemical that will allow the user to recognize and prepare for potential hazards associated with the chemical and prepare for and react to emergency situations. OSHA Form 174 (OMB #1218-0072) is one recommended format. You can download this form in HTML or PDF format from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration world wide web site. Another popular format it the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) format which includes all of the information found on the OSHA form plus some additional information. In this tutorial we'll focus mainly on the OSHA format.
To introduce you to a typical MSDS sheet, we will be using this sample MSDS sheet for a typical chemical, benzoic acid (this will open in a new browser window so you don't have to keep using your Back button). NOTE: Some of the sections of the sample MSDS may be out of order or have slightly different names than those that appear on OSHA Form 174.
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