About Those Safety Data Sheets

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In 2012, OSHA revised what they call the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The HCS establishes a standard for creating Safety Data Sheets (SDS) which were previously called Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).

The goal, according to OSHA was to establish “a consistent user-friendly 16 section format” for Safety Data Sheets. This is a worthy goal as the purpose of safety data sheets is to provide valuable safety information in case there is some type of emergency such as a fire or chemical exposure.

Have you ever really looked at the MSDS or SDS that you receive? They are anything but user friendly. I looked at one for a polycarbonate that said if you have skin contact with polycarbonate the affected area should be washed with soap and water for 15 to 20 minutes minimum. I’m not sure what negative health effects that you could have from touching polycarbonate but washing with soap and water for 20 minutes will certainly cause some adverse health effects. And, what exactly does sweet aromatic smell like any way? If there is a fire at my facility, do I call 911 and tell them to have the fire department bring carbon dioxide or water fog? What the hell is a sold extinguishing agent?

How about some information that ordinary people can use in an emergency and real advice for people to use to prepare their facilities for emergencies?

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