Why You Need to Read and Keep a MSDS Book

Well, September is here and with it the last quarter of the year. Now is a good time to look and see what business goals you set back at the first of the year still have to be done, evaluate things you have tried this year so far to see if you want to continue with them next year or put on the front burner things you still need to do before this year runs out.

So far we have done all the major products we had planned like putting out a monthly newsletter, writing in this blog at least once a month, trade shows, and new advertising campaigns in new channels. But even I still have some things that got pushed aside that I need to get done and marked off my to-do list.

One big one is to contact every customer to make sure they have a copy of an MSDS for every product they have purchased from us. This one item is very important for you, for your business, and for your employees, if you have them. This needs to be done and checked at least once a year. So very soon you will be getting either an email or letter in the mail with a list of the MSDSs you should have on hand especially if you still have the product at your house, on your truck, or rig.

MSDSs are always sent out by us the first time you buy a new product, when the product contains Hydrofluoric acid, or when it is requested by you, our customer. You can get a needed copy by calling 800-762-7911, emailing us, or downloading it from the website.

By law (OSHA either federal or state) you need to have a book made up of all MSDS for every product you use routinely in your work that you or your employees can be exposed to. So many more products than just ours should be in there. They need to be cataloged in alphabetical order; by-letter tabs are even better. You should probably have more than one MSDS book in your possession. The first should be at your home or office where the bulk of your chemicals are kept. And the others should be carried out on the road with you in your truck or on your rig itself. And if you have more than one truck or rig, one for every one of those as well. It is also best for at least the ones on the road to be kept in a waterproof binder with the pages inserted in plastic page covers so dirt and water will not mess them up. If you do not have these books in place yet, this is a great time of year to get them at the lowest possible cost, while back-to-school supply sales are happening.

If you do not know what is found in an MSDS, or all the sections of an MSDS, now would be a great time to learn. Learn everything you need to know about an MSDS, like why you should have them, and the different sections of an MSDS so you know where to look if the situation comes up and you need it. During an emergency is not the time to wonder if the health cautions or first aid directions are found in section III or VII! Plus if you ever get asked for your MSDS by OSHA, the DOT, a police officer, or even a customer to prove what is or is not in a product you are using at their home, this will help your business look professional and possibly not be fined for not having them.

The most frightening calls I have gotten are when customers call us frantic with an injured employee and they do not know where an MSDS is or they did not keep the MSDS we sent them and that employee needs immediate emergency care. I hope you never have a need to open your MSDS books but it sure is important that they are there if you ever do.