Define Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and tell why it is important.
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are one way that chemical manufacturers and importers provide hazard information to users, such as foodservice workers. Chemical manufacturers and importers must develop a standard MSDS for each hazardous chemical they produce or import. The MSDS must be provided automatically when the initial shipment of a hazardous chemical is sent to a distributor or user. The MSDS can be included with the chemical shipment or under separate cover.
The manufacturer evaluates each chemical for its potential to cause adverse health effects and/or physical hazards. Examples of possible hazards are:
No specific MSDS form is required as long as it includes following information: physical and chemical characteristics of the material; known acute and chronic health effects; exposure limits; special handling or use instructions; protective equipment or procedures; emergency and first-aid steps; and the identify of the organization that prepared the MSDS. The form must be prepared in English and include both common names and the specific chemical identify of the product. An example of how many MSDSs are presented is below.
The Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor requires that foodservice establishments have a hazard-communication program specific for the products used within the establishment. The foundation of the program is the MSDSs, which should be kept in a binder or a central file. An MSDS needs to be provided for all hazardous chemicals used. Other requirements are that all containers of hazardous chemicals must also be properly labeled, tagged, or marked with the identity; display appropriate hazard warnings; and show the names and addresses of the manufacturers or other responsible parties. The hazard warning can be any message, words, pictures or symbols that convey the hazards of the chemical(s) on the container. The label must be legible, in English (and in other languages as needed), and prominently displayed. The following information is also required: a list of the hazardous chemicals located in each work area; a description of how employees will be informed of the hazards of both normal use and nonroutine tasks; and emergency procedures for spills, leaks or other accidents. The hazard-communication program must also address employee training. OSHA requires that program records are to be available upon request to employees and other designated government officials.