Material Safety Data Sheet or MSDS is a professional document that highlights safety and health information about potentially hazardous chemical compound used in workplaces. It’s renamed just as the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and handed to product manufacturers, distributors and consumers.
Similar to a user manual for various chemical substances, SDS is devised by manufacturers for more than millennia. This is revealed as per a researcher who found valuable guidelines over some chemicals in Egyptian pyramid’s hieroglyphics. However more recently, generic and specific chemical safety sheets are provided by chemical producers and their manufacturing associations.
It was in the late 1960s when MSDS was put into effect among maritime industry under the regulations of first government. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enacted the rules and regulations in 1983 that ask all manufacturing facilities to comply with the sheet and highlight details about potentially harmful substances they use. This regulation was further expanded in 1987 thus including all employers.
Ever since the implementation of the very first MSDS requisites in 1983, OSHA and associated agencies in U.S.A and around the world collaborate to develop a uniform standard related to entire section of hazard communication. This paved way for a new Hazard Communication Standard that evolved in 2013 and has been put into effect on June 1, 2015. It’s under the new regulation that this sheet is renamed as Safety Data Sheet (SDS) instead of the usual MSDS.
Almost every potentially harmful or hazardous product that’s distributed to a workplace is accompanied as per SDS that’s a mark of new standards. This is aligned with Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals or GHS in simple terms.
Manufacturer is liable to draft SDS in country’s specific language such as English, Spanish, Arabic and so on; wherever consumers are located. Be it production of ethyl acetate or any other chemical, strict adherence to the SDS is a must or else legal steps are taken against breach of document.
General information about the Safety Data Sheet or formerly known as MSDS is provided above courtesy of Sipchem (a global chemical and petrochemical manufacturing industry is Saudi Arabia).