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Myths About Safety Data Sheets

Myths About Safety Data Sheets

Here are some of the myths that revolve around safety data sheets.

In modern times, data is so easily accessible to us. If you’re in a workplace that handles hazardous materials, some of the data you acquire is through safety data sheets. These papers are vital for ensuring that hazardous materials are handled properly. With that said, there are myths about these papers that we want to clear up with you today. Here are some of the myths that revolve around safety data sheets.

“Every Chemical is Required to Have a Safety Data Sheet”

This statement sounds plausible, but it’s actually not true. If employers can prove that “consumer products” (in accordance with the Consumer Product Safety Act) are used in the same manner that consumers use them, then a safety data sheet won’t typically be required. This is because there would be an understanding that consumers don’t experience significantly different exposure to any of the chemicals in these products.

“All Safety Data Sheets Have to Stay on File for a Minimum of 30 Years”

Having to store safety data sheets for 30 years sounds like a daunting task. Fortunately, you don’t typically need to do this. As it turns out, the only time when you would need to keep a safety data sheet for a particular period of time is if one of your employees suffers exposure to a chemical. Even in these situations, you’ll only need certain parts of the data sheet. More specifically, you’ll need to keep the name of the exposed substance on record, as well as the time and location that exposure occurred.

“If You Store Safety Data Sheets Virtually, What Happens During a Power Outage?”

We understand that this is more of a question than a myth, but we feel that it’s still worth addressing. Back in the day, if there was a power outage, you would go back to the paper formula and simply pull out a binder that had the information you needed.

Nowadays, there’s greater emphasis being placed on the requirements put in place by OSHA regarding “barrier-free, ready access”. Still, however, OSHA remains relatively steadfast in its opinion on the matter. Going back to paper documents in the event of a power outage is still an acceptable solution. With that said, it’s not the only solution you can use. Sometimes, telephones are also considered acceptable solutions as well. As long as the alternative you provide is a barrier-free and immediate option, it is considered acceptable.

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This entry was posted on Friday, June 7th, 2024 at 8:00 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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