Universal Site Services | Commercial Site Services

An MSDS Is a Top Tool for Property and Street Safety Maintenance

An important tool for any competent property and street maintenance company to understand and use is an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet), which is sometimes referred to as an SDS (Safety Data Sheet) or a PSDS (Product Safety Data Sheet).  These data sheets all provide information that is important for the protection of the environment and needed by property and street maintenance service companies.

Information That the MSDS Supplies

The MSDS tool provides critical information on materials and supplies regarding:

  • Toxicity
  • Disposal Requirements or Recommendations
  • Handling of Spills or Exposures
  • Health Considerations
  • Medical or First Aid Steps
  • Storage & Disposal Requirements or Data
  • Hard Data Regarding Physical Attributes

– Flammability

– PH (Acid or Alkaline)

– Volatility (Melting Point, Boiling Point, Flash Point, etc.)

– Reactivity

What does an MSDS look Like?

The appearance of MSDS information materials vary. Some are simply forms with information boxes; others have special formats with distinctive art including color designations that can be read at a glance from a distance on such topics as:

  • flammability
  • reactivity
  • health impact
  • protective equipment level

These artsy information packets are often printed on cardstock or a rigid material and a size that allows them to be displayed for easy viewing in proximity to the materials on which they are providing information.

Who Should Have MSDS on Hand?

All professionals using chemicals and volatile substances or working in the presence of them need the information contained in this data sheet.

  • The Information is Needed by Workers in:
  • storage yards
  • industrial sites
  • warehouses
  • manufacturing companies
  • and around companies who supply or use chemicals and volatile substances

As well, the Information is Needed by:

  • operators of pressure washing and sweeping equipment
  • day porter workers
  • window washers
  • drivers of equipment street sweeping or pressure washing vehicles and equipment
  • maintenance and repair personnel
  • and any other jobs where operations may bring a person in contact with, or proximity to, spills or accidents involving volatile substances

It is incumbent on owners and operators of businesses where such materials are found to maintain a full collection of pertinent MSDS documentation. They and their employees should understand the proper and necessary procedures and handling techniques for safe handling and prevention of unwanted exposures and accidents, as well as be able to take necessary action should any occur.

This is Important:  MSDSs should be accessible and made immediately known and available to emergency response workers as soon as possible.

The point of such documentation is not just to have the data available in case an emergency event occurs; it is important to have it available, communicated, and practiced before an emergency occurs by everyone and anyone who might be affected. An old mariner’s proverb says:  “A catastrophe is an emergency no one drilled the handling for.”

This is Also Important:  There are OSHA requirements and standards to follow regarding the writing and use of MSDSs that have not been discussed on this blog. Some things are not written in stone, but are recommended. In any case, such government programs tend to evolve, and so property and street maintenance companies and other businesses should strive to remain up to date.

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