An ultimate guide to MSDS 16 with OSHA, HSE, ILO Stats (Learn Chemical safety in 20 Minutes)

Chemical , an major challenge in current industries, managing chemicals in the workplace is critical, hence each chemical would have a different properties.

The MSDS Of the chemical is prepared by various toxicological studies including animal testing and various in vitro and in vivo studies.

The MSDS (Material Safety Data sheets) are the backbone behind the chemical safety,based on which the control measures must be derived.

The Chemicals are hazardous from the reception to the usage,storage,cleaning,disposal and throughout its entire life span.




The Employers are having an legal duty to seek MSDS from the suppliers and to pass the safety information's to the workforce involving in an chemical.

As per OSHA , Hazard communication standard ( 29 CFR,1910.1200(g)) revised in 2012, requires the manufacturer, supplier,importers to provide MSDS for each users to communicate the hazards. 
Being Familiar with the content of MSDS is essential for every safety practitioner, in order to protect the industry and workforce from the chemical hazards.

The HSE Studies says, 
Around 13,000 deaths each year from occupational lung disease and cancer are estimated to have been caused by past exposures at work, primarily to chemicals and dusts.

The ILO Studies Says,
1.1 million people who worked during the last year were suffering from an illness (long-standing as well as new cases) they believed was caused or made worse by their current or past work. 0.5 million of these were new conditions which started during the year.
A further 0.7 million former workers (who last worked over 12 months ago) were suffering from an illness which was caused or made worse by their past work. 2347 people died from mesothelioma in 2010 and thousands more from other occupational cancers and diseases such as COPD.
Hence managing chemical safety is looks tough, its really easy when we understand the MSDS and their inherent contents.

If you are seeking for an easiest guide to MSDS, This post will really help you a lot.

Information 1.Identification of Product & Manufacturer :

This section will contain the name of product along with the details of manufacturer or supplier with phone number. 

Also the Recommended and restricted use of the chemicals will also be described for example : Paint. 


Information 2 :Hazards Identification  

The Hazardous properties of the chemicals from one to another will vary and not all the chemicals will pose same degree of hazard to the human. 

The Chemicals which is capable of causing cancer is cancer compared to the chemical capable of causing an allergy. 

In this section, the information will detail, the nature of hazard ( Toxic, corrosive, irritant, Mutagen ), with simple hazardous statements and pictographs. 

Example : Highly corrosive / Flammable 


Information 3 : Composition & Information of Ingredients :

The chemicals are made up of composition of various chemicals and each having their own hazardous nature with it self. 

This section describes the various chemicals used during manufacturing with their respective percentage of chemicals used. 

Simply, In every biscuits and chocolates cover you can find the various substance used for manufacturing along with their percentage of use. 

Information 4 :First Aid Measures :


The First aid response for every chemical incident from the splash burn to the splash on eyes will vary based on the nature of chemicals and the area of injury / exposure occurred. 

This section will contain the description of , 

  • Various symptoms of exposure (Acute / delayed ) by various route of entry
  • The Type of medical treatment needs to be given.
  • This section will guide you on the requirement of safety showers, eyewash stations and other first aid kits that necessary. 

Information 5 : Fire Fighting Measures :

This section will have a information of its fire hazards and the type of fire extinguishers that should be used in case of fire. 

Not all the chemicals will behave in a same way during fire, this section will also describe the additional information on behavior during an fire. 

Based on this section of chemical, You can select the type of fire extinguisher required and you can install in a right position. 


Information 6 : Accidental Release Measures

Irrespective of the amount of storage of chemical, the likelihood of  spill and accidental release will never be zero. 

When the spill of chemical occurs , will affect the employees nearby and will pose risk to the environment through mixing with drains and water sources. 

This section will describe, the action and preventative measures that must be taken, in case of accidental release of chemical , which include, 
  • The Personal Protection during an spill 
  • Need for evacuation and contacting external emergency services 
  • The Restoration measures 
  • The Need for Bunding , adsorbent materials , neutralizers , 
  • Method of decontamination and cleaning to be adopted.

Information 7 :Handling & Storage :


Handling and storage procedures for every chemicals would be different from other, some chemicals would have special storage conditions and handling procedures to minimize the risk. 

This section will have a details of , 
  • Controls to be taken during handling of chemicals 
  • The Storage Conditions including the Atmospheric temperature to be adopted 
  • The Need for any special ventilation and bunding etc. 

Information 8 : Exposure Control & Personal Protection

The level of risk will increase when the employees are exposed above the safe limits specified by the manufacturer / regulatory bodies (Ex: PEL / WEL / OEL / TLV)

and when the chemicals are used with inadequate / poor personal protective equipment's, 

This section will detail, 
  • Below which the exposure should be controlled 
  • The Type of personal protective equipment's to be used and their special properties like breakthrough time and permeation rate for glove. 
  • The Engineering controls ( Local exhaust ventilation / Dilution ventilation) to be adopted.

Information 9 : Physical & Chemical Properties 

The Physical & Chemical property of the substance is the important aspect that decides the level of risk to the employees 

For Example 

The Substance with higher flash point is safer than the substance with lower flash points 

The Substance in the form of powder is high riskier than the the chemical in solid form

The Chemical with high evaporation rate is hazardous than the chemical with lower evaporation rate. 

This section will give a clear indication of various chemical properties , which include the information about, 

  • Fire Point , 
  • Flash Point 
  • Auto ignition Temperature 
  • Evaporation rate 
  • Physical property ( Liquid / Solid)
  • LEL & UEL 
  • Solubility  etc. 
Which is an valid and important information, that should be considered during an risk assessment. 

Information 10 :  Stability & Reactivity :


When two chemicals are mixed together , their properties will change, either one chemical will increase the toxicity of another or will decrease. 
In some cases the resulting toxicity will be higher than the sum of individual chemicals, which pose greater risk to the Human lives.

Also the chemicals will not maintain the same physical form ( Liquid / Solid) in all atmospheric temperature and pressure. 

The Chemical in Liquid form will be hazardous when used in high temperature sufficient to generate vapor that cause risk by inhalation. 

This Section will Contain the Details of , 
  • The Atmospheric conditions to be maintained during use and storage
  • The Incompatible materials to be avoided 
  • The Special stabilizers needed to maintain the properties 
  • The Indication of possible hazardous reaction during mixed with incompatible materials like explosion, high pressure release, heat etc.

 Information 11 : Toxicological Information

The Chemicals will have an different impact on human body, some chemical would cause allergy and some chemicals would even cause cancer and hereditary defects.  

Based on the type of potential harm only,we can decide the level of risk and the level of controls needed to prevent harm. 

This section will detail
  • The Various route of entry ( Inhalation, Ingestion, skin absorption) and acute, chronic health effects 
  • with numerical information on toxicity like LD 50 , OEL , STEL etc. 

 Information 12 : Ecological Information:

The Chemicals are not only hazardous to the human lives, also it pose risk to other living organisms and land, water, and air . 

This section will have an clear detail of , 

  • The level of toxicity it pose to human  
  • The Potential for the substance to move from the soil to the ground water 
  • The Adverse effects like Ozone layer depletion potential, Global warming potential etc. 

Information 13 : Disposal Considerations 

Not all the chemicals can be disposed in a same way, some chemicals will accompany with an legal requirements that must be followed. 

For example an asbestos must be disposed by the licensed contractor and in an licensed land filling sites with double baggage.

So this section will detail, 
  • The Type of Disposal method to be adopted 
  • Any special precautions required during land filling and incineration's 

Information 14 : Transportation Information:

This section will describe any special precautions needed related to the transportation of chemicals from the road to the marine etc. 

Also It describes the measures to be adopted during the transportation of chemicals within and outside the premises. 

Information 15 : Regulatory Information 

Every countries having their own legal requirements relates to health and safety, which must be followed by the employers in order to avoid criminal fines and other legal actions.

This section will describe the details of legal requirements applicable to the particular chemical from the storage limits to the special controls suggested by legal. 


Information 16 : Other Information


The Other Information section of MSDS will contain any abbreviations used and the date of last version and the date of MSDS preparation etc.


Concept & Conclusion : By using an MSDS alone, you can formulate all the controls in your industry respect to chemical safety.


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