The need to communicate hazards of chemicals to users is of the utmost importance. The widespread use of chemicals, the development of new chemicals, and the need to re-evaluate the hazards of pre-existing chemicals contribute to the importance of MSDS Compliance. In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to mandate the use of a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) and provide information to people who use, handle or store hazardous industrial chemicals. The MSDS is used to convey the details on a material`s identity, manufacturer information, hazard identity, emergency information, instructions on what to do if a hazardous situation has occurred, information on the prevention of hazardous situations, as well as other technical information. Recognizing the importance of this document, many other countries (e.g. the EU, Australia, Canada) have adopted the HCS into their own chemical safety initiatives.
With an online presence established in 1998, MSDSWriter began as a small shop dedicated to freelance authoring of Material Safety Data Sheets. Initially attracting mostly 'mom and pop' type clients, MSDSWriter quickly emerged as one of only a handful of companies present on the Internet focused on delivering hazard communication solutions.
Our specialized offerings have occupied a niche that caters to clients of all sizes and our business has rapidly grown to include them. They hail from broad sectors of manufacturing worldwide including for example, construction, mining, boutique chemical, and cosmetic firms.
Our capacity has grown along with our client base (we are not quite Fortune 500 yet but we dream big). Now at the heart of MSDSWriter is a team of project managers and contractors focused on delivering quality work while keeping operating costs as low as possible.
The secret to our success has been timely customer correspondence and a 'no-frills' approach to our work. That is to say, our clients know that they only pay for what they need: our expertise and commitment to quality work--not flashy graphics or expensive programs when they are not always needed. We focus on producing work that is simply compliant and backed by years of focus on the MSDS and the world of Hazard Communication.
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We thank you for considering MSDSWriter and look forward to partnering with you to promote a safe and compliant work environment.
A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is used by chemical manufacturers and importers to convey both the physical hazards (pH, flashpoint, flammability, etc.) and the health hazards (carcinogenicity, teratogenicity, etc.) of their chemicals to the end user.
MSDSs are a critical component of the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200(g)). This standard mandates that workers have a right to know what hazards are associated with the chemicals they use in the workplace. Both manufacturers of chemicals and employers with chemicals in their workplace, must be in compliance with this regulation as it is the most often cited violation by OSHA, with fines of more than $70,000 per violation per instance.
The OSHA MSDS format has the following required categories that must be on every MSDS:
- Section I. Manufacturer's Name and Contact Information
- Section II. Hazardous Ingredients/Identity Information
- Section III. Physical/Chemical Characteristics
- Section IV. Fire and Explosion Hazard Data
- Section V. Reactivity Data
- Section VI. Health Hazard Data
- Section VII. Precautions for Safe Handling and Use
- Section VIII. Control Measures
For the full text of OSHA's MSDS requirements, click here.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved an alternative format and published a standard Z400.1-1993, 'American National Standard for Hazardous Industrial Chemicals-Material Safety Data Sheets-Preparation.'
The 16 sections of an MSDS that are prescribed by the ANSI standard are as follows:
- Section 1. Chemical Product & Company Information
- Section. 2. Composition/Information on Ingredients
- Section. 3. Hazards Identification
- Section. 4. First Aid Measures
- Section. 5. Fire Fighting Measures
- Section. 6. Accidental Release Measures
- Section. 7. Handling and Storage
- Section. 8. Exposure Controls/Personal Protection
- Section. 9. Physical and Chemical Properties
- Section. 10. Stability and Reactivity
- Section. 11. Toxicological Information
- Section. 12. Ecological Information
- Section. 13. Disposal Considerations
- Section. 14. Transport Information
- Section. 15. Regulatory Information
- Section. 16. Other Information
While this is a recommended format, it is important to note that at a minimum, the OSHA required categories must be addressed in the MSDS as these are legally enforceable.
The Current MSDS Landscape
The path to a compliant Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or its international equivalents is still a confusing one even for experienced safety professionals. The current MSDS landscape sets only minimum standards for what makes a document compliant and varies from one country to the next. Just for example, terminology, pictograms, and format, often vary based on the governing agency and customs within industries.
As a result, when searching for an MSDS you should beware that an MSDS you come across might be outdated - because the manufacturer changed the product without updating the MSDS, or the current regulations have changed. Asking the manufacturer to provide a copy of their most recent MSDS will suffice if you are simply looking for more information on the product. However, for sophisticated or complex MSDS needs, the lack of standardization or a thorough MSDS presents a real barrier to conducting business. Incomplete or outdated MSDSs could result in stiff fines and a dangerous work setting.
Resources and Options
Professional resources are available to manage MSDS needs. Large scale companies can manage a huge internal library of standardized MSDSs using database software. Their internal safety professionals may author the MSDSs themselves, or rely on MSDS authoring software. However, database and authoring software, training staff and remaining current on updates is often cost-prohibitive. Safety professionals and compliance departments for large companies often seek a way to outsource their current MSDS operation to a skilled outsider such as MSDSWriter.
The MSDSWriter Solution
MSDSWriter provides the flexibility of budget-friendly and personalized MSDS authoring services. Large companies consider outsourcing or developing their MSDS program using the staff at MSDSWriter. Others simply choose to rely on MSDSWriter to deliver their MSDSs on an 'as-needed' basis. Whatever their choice, MSDSWriter helps companies avoid busting their limited budgets of time and money on just their MSDS needs. It also helps avoid risking their business on existing and potentially incomplete MSDSs.
Since 1998, MSDSWriter has offered authoring services designed to meet Corporate needs for affordable regulatory compliance solutions. The hallmarks of our services include quality, innovation, timeliness and, most importantly, service. We can provide you with MSDS compliance across the world, at a cost that is substantially lower than software or internal authoring professionals.
Your budget ultimately depends on three main variables: 1) Notice and turnaround times for MSDS requests 2) Complexity of MSDSs 3) Level of reliance on MSDSWriter expertise for filling gaps and assuring compliance.
An extreme example on the high end would involve a 24-hour turnaround on MSDS authoring, where only the names of the components are provided; and the MSDS needed to be translated into another language and/or compliant under non-U.S. regulations.
An example of the other extreme, on the low end, would be an MSDS request for completion in 10 business days, requiring little intervention on MSDSWriter's part other than handling and processing data you gave us, using software you designate, and delivering the finished product. MSDSWriter in this example would serve as more of an MSDS technician essentially providing you a low cost administrative apparatus for efficient and accurate MSDS generation.
The MSDSWriter team specializes in researching, authoring and updating, OSHA compliant MSDSs and their international equivalents. Since 1998, we have offered a suite of Hazcom services designed to meet Corporate needs for affordable regulatory compliance solutions. The hallmarks of our service include quality, innovation, timeliness and, most importantly, service.
Completing your MSDS could not be easier; in three simple steps we'll have you on your way to MSDS compliance.
Identifying your exact compliance needs
- What format MSDS do you need?
- What information do you have about your products?
- When do you need the MSDS?
Standard turnaround time is 10 business days. If you have a specific time constraint, contact us now to get started today and for possible 24 hour rush authoring.
Authoring your MSDS
Once we've agreed on the deliverables and deadline, leave the work to us. Your compliance expert will author your MSDS to fulfill your compliance needs.
Completing your MSDS
You will be notified when your MSDS is ready to be picked up in the client login site. Simply submit payment through the secured payment center and your project will be released for your review.