Where chemical manufacturers, distributors and importers had previously provided Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) for their downstream users, the Hazard Communication Standard has been revised and now Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) must be provided. This is important for you to know as the owner of a power washing company since your employees handle hazardous chemicals.
While the information in the SDS is largely the same as the MSDS, the SDSs are required to be presented in a 16-section format that makes the information easier to read and understand. It includes properties of each chemical, physical, health and environmental health hazards, protective measures and safety precautions, plus other details important to those interacting with the chemicals. Each section on the SDS has a clear heading with the information in bullet points for clarity.
OSHA states in its brief, “Employers must ensure that the SDSs are readily accessible to employees for all hazardous chemicals in their workplace.” SDSs can be on a computer or in a binder, for example, but employees must be able to access them without leaving their work area. OSHA suggests designating one person to be responsible for obtaining and maintaining the SDSs. The information sheets can be requested from the manufacturer.
Other changes made to the Hazard Communication Standard:
- Hazard classification: Provides specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards, as well as classification of mixtures.
- Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements must also be provided.
- Information and training: Employers are required to train workers by December 1, 2013 on the new labels elements and safety data sheets format to facilitate recognition and understanding.
For more information on SDSs and to become familiar with the format go to http://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3514.pdf.
To learn more about the overall changes to the Hazard Communicaiton Standard, go to http://www.osha.gov/dsg/hazcom/
To see an example of MSDS sheets go to https://powerwash.com/products/msds-sheets