Chemicals are a required tool in order for cleaning companies to effectively perform their duties. Depending on your company’s specialty, you may use only a few types of cleaners or a wide array of products. Regardless of the number of chemical cleaners you use regularly, you should keep the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) on-hand for any product that you ever have a need for.
MSDS provide pertinent information about a chemical and emergency measures that should be performed in case something goes awry while someone is using the product. MSDS are not only vital for your employees’ safety, but are also legally necessary in most states. Most states also necessitate that all employees are easily able to access the MSDS for any product with which they may come in contact. As a matter of fact, an employee can legally refuse to use a particular chemical if he or she has not reviewed the product’s msds.com.
MSDS are obtained from the company that makes a product. While MSDS may look difficult to read at first glance, they are typically organized into logical sections, making them easy to comprehend. MSDS do not follow a standard format, but they must contain certain information regarding the product.
MSDS will always include any hazardous components within the product, specific health risks, risk of fire or explosion, and instructions for proper usage/disposal of the chemical. Additionally, each MSDS must provide, as mentioned prior, the proper emergency procedure and the number for an emergency phone line that is open 24/7 in case a user has questions or concerns about the product. Finally, you may notice licensing or patent information on an MSDS; this is legally required and does not effect you as a consumer.
It is important to closely read a product’s MSDS before it’s inaugural use. The following list of tips will help you know precisely what to look for when you read an msds program.
1. Find the general description of the product and locate the number for the emergency phone line. You should underline or highlight the phone number and the product’s name so you can call the emergency line quickly should something go wrong.
2. Locate the active ingredients of the new product, and note if any of them are listed as health hazards.
3. Closely read the section that outlines emergency procedures, as it could be vital if someone is harmed using the product. This section will also tell you what symptoms indicate that a victim should be taken to the hospital.
4. Note the storage conditions that are required for the product so you can keep it in an appropriate location. This can be particularly important for products that are flammable or under extreme pressure.