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Hazard Communication made Easy

How OSHA and the GHS are redefining hazard communication with SDS (formally MSDS), making things easier than ever

Whether preparing to use a new chemical, managing an unexpected spill or determining proper disposal methods, MSDS sheets have been the go-to resource for hazard information—and for many, frustrating to comprehend. In an independent review of data sheets, the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board analyzed 140 data sheets of substances capable of producing combustible dusts. The findings produced dangerous deficiencies and found that ‘none of the MSDSs contained all the information needed to work with the material safely, and forty-one percent failed to even mention that the substance was combustible.’ OSHA and the UN Globally Harmonized System (GHS) took these discoveries and worked together in 2012 to pass a universal revision to all hazard communications called Safety Data Sheets.

A room covered with paint splash guard material.

With the new standard in effect across the board this year, pictograms (where applicable) and a consistent 16-section format are utilized to communicate pertinent information as quickly as possible. Company and Hazard identification are the first two sections, followed by Composition / Ingredients and First-aid measures. So if you want to determine the adhesive properties of our aggressive double-sided tape, UltraStik™—or how to dispose of corrugated plastic sheets (Plasti Shield is recyclable), the new SDS presents this information in a quick section-by-section format that has never been easier to follow.

A man checking the expiration date of a fire extinguisher attached to the wall.

The new formatting even provides potential life-saving information like Fire-fighting measures, Accidental release and Exposure controls in the most efficient way possible. So if an extinguisher, safety glasses or an emergency contact would be the best response, this SDS layout illustrates each section perfectly. It’s these types of updates and more, spread out among the sixteen standardized sections, that make this revised SDS format for hazard communication, easier to understand than ever before. Start utilizing this tool for the products you use and look for the updated Surface Shields® SDSs for products like aggressive double-sided UltraStik™ and corrugated plastic Plasti Shield today.


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