According to the Department of Occupational Safety and Health Malaysia, preparing a proper Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is stated under the Occupational Safety and Health (Classification, Labelling and Safety Data Sheet of Hazardous Chemicals) Regulation 2013, which is also known as CLASS Regulation.
A MSDS is a database that contains information about the potential hazards of a chemical substance (health, combustion, reactivity, and the environment), as well as how to deal with it safely. In terms of content details, the MSDS is much more comprehensive than the label.
MSDSs are produced by the supplier or seller of the products. Its aim is to clarify the dangers of the product, how to use it correctly and what to expect if the instructions are not followed. It will also guide us on what to do if an accident occurs and how to diagnose overexposure effects.
When managed goods enter the workplace, employers must ensure that they have an up-to-date (less than three-year-old) MSDS. Workers who are exposed to the regulated substance, as well as the health and safety committee or delegate, must have access to the MSDSs. If a managed substance is created at work, the employer is responsible for preparing an MSDS for each of these products.
Employers are permitted to computerize MSDS documents as long as all workers have access to them and are instructed on how to operate the computer. The devices are to be maintained in good working order and the employer makes a hard copy of the MSDS accessible to the employees or safety and health committee/representative upon request.
Content of MSDS
The content of MSDS is according to the policies of the countries. However, the few basic content that must be included in the MSDS are:
1. Hazardous Identification with the Content of Mixture
The chemical names and amount of the potentially dangerous substances.
2. Physical Data
This section should include information about how it appears and how it will behave when used, stored, spilled, and how it will react to other items indicated by:
– The state it is in, for example, liquid
– The product’s odour and look
– The specific gravity, vapour density, evaporation rate, and temperature
– The boiling and freezing point
– The volume of concentration, as the higher the concentration is, the higher the achievable air pressure.
– The smell threshold, which is the lowest chemical concentration in the air that can be detected by the sense of smell
– The pH, which reflects the product’s caustic or irritant characteristics.
3. Fire or Explosion Hazard Data
The temperature and environmental circumstances that might cause the chemical to catch fire or explode.
4. Reactivity Data
Information on the chemical instability of a product and the substances it may react with .
5. Information about the Toxicity of the Material
The negative consequences of exposure and long term / short term effect towards workers if PPEs are not properly worn.
6. Preventive Measures
Instructions on the products safety, handling, and storage.
7. First Aid Measures
First-aid procedures should be carried out in the right order.