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Organizing MSDS?

Q: I am trying to standardize and simplify the organization of the MSDS manuals in our organization. How do you suggest we organize the MSDS? The Master Hazardous Substance list suggests by the chemical name. Many products that we use have a constituent in them that may be hazardous. In a true emergency, the employee may not know what hazardous substance is in it, but will know the name of the product to look up in the MSDS manual. For example, laboratory test kits that may contain a diluent or extraction solution. In that case do you organize by the name of the manufacturer or common name of the product? What are your suggestions/guidelines?

A: Great question! My recommendation is to organize based upon the common names, since in an emergency this is where staff will look first for information. OSHA requires the name on the actual container label match up with the name on the MSDS, so do a spot check of this too.

So if you use Aquasonic Clear by Parker Industries, but the staff call it "Ultrasound Gel" you could file it under "U" and note it as "Ultrasound Gel (Aquasonic Clear)" on the master listing.

Also, if you're an employer in Maryland, you'll need to send in the master list of Hazardous Chemicals used in your workplace, alphabetized by common name, every 2 years to the Department of the Environment.

For more information on Hazardous Chemicals and the Right to Know law check out Tab 7 (Tab 6 for dental) of Quality America's OSHA Safety Program Manual.

Posted by Quality America on March 20, 2007 | Comments (0)


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