February safety focus: Hazard communication

Know the hazards and how to identify them, so you can protect yourself.

Do you know how to read a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), sometimes called a Safety Data Sheet (SDS)? It could save your life!

The MSDS on a potentially hazardous product spells out what you need to know to avoid injuring yourself or others when using the product. The MSDS includes the following information and should be very carefully reviewed before using any hazardous materials:

  • Product Identifier – The name of the chemical(s) contained in the product
  • Signal Word – “DANGER” or a similar qualifier to make sure users are aware that the contents of the container are potentially harmful
  • Hazard Statements – The potential threat if the product is misused
  • Precautionary Statements – Warnings to avoid creating a hazard when using the product
  • Supplier Identification – The contact information for the manufacturer, in the event of questions/concerns
  • Pictograms – Quick, visual symbols of the possible hazards associated with misuse of the product

Watch for additional training about how to read a product MSDS and the proper precautions to use when handling potentially hazardous materials at your location.

Whether at work or at home, take time to understand how to safely handle, use and store potentially hazardous materials. It could save your life.

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