MSDS Sheets: Not just for Health & Safety Officials

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are an important tool and are used in a variety of environments.  Many people may think that only Health and Safety Management would be the only personal who would ever need proper training on MSDSs, but that is not the case.

Training on how to read MSDS sheets is important for other departments in your company.  For example cleaning staff members should be properly trained in knowing where to locate MSDSs, as well as knowing how to properly read the MSDS sheet.

Here are a few tips to consider when reviewing MSDSs with your cleaning staff

  • Before your training, review the chemicals your cleaning staff comes into contact and works with on a regular basis.  There is probably a long list, but to make it easier you can break them into categories.  This also may be a good time to review the chemicals and if there are chemicals that are no longer used then you can properly dispose of them.
  • Make sure you have a copy of each MSDS for each cleaning chemical.  Depending on your company you may already have these located in a specific binder which you could then use to discuss with your crew.
  • Explain to your crew the importance of MSDS sheets.  Not only are they an OSHA regulation but they also provide critical information if an employee is exposed to a certain chemical or a chemical catches on fire.
  • Review the format of the MSDS sheet.  Point out such information as the emergency contact numbers, how to handle if a person is harmed by the chemical.
  • Explain the importance of labelling all chemicals in your facility.  If chemicals are taken out of their original container and put into a non labeled container make sure it’s properly labeled with the necessary information.

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