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FAQ - Regulatory Processes - 2016
FAQ - Regulatory Processes - 2016

 

 

Are offices allowed to store their MSDS or SDS on computer or does a hard copy need to exist?

 

The OSHA Fact Sheet Steps to an Effective Hazard Communication Program for Employers That Use Hazardous Chemicals can be accessed at:
https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3696.pdf   1

This document states in part:

Step 4. Maintain Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)
• Maintain safety data sheets for each hazardous chemical in the workplace.
• Ensure that safety data sheets are readily accessible to employees.
Safety data sheets are the source of detailed information on a particular hazardous chemical. Employers must maintain copies of SDSs for all hazardous chemicals present in their workplaces. If you do not receive an SDS from your supplier automatically, you must request one. You also must ensure that SDSs are readily accessible to workers when they are in their work areas during their work shifts.

This accessibility may be accomplished in many different ways. You must decide what is appropriate for your particular workplace. Some employers keep the SDSs in a binder in a central location (e.g., outside of the safety office, in the pick-up truck on a construction site). Others, particularly in workplaces with large numbers of chemicals, provide access electronically. However, if SDSs are supplied electronically, there must be an adequate back-up system in place in the event of a power outage, equipment failure, or other emergency involving the primary electronic system. In addition, the employer must ensure that workers are trained on how to use the system to access SDSs and are able to obtain hard copies of the SDSs. In the event of a medical emergency, hard copy SDSs must be immediately available to medical personnel.  1

1)     Resources

US Department of Labor – Occupational Safety & Health Administration. OSHA Fact Sheet -  Steps to an Effective Hazard Communication Program for Employers That Use Hazardous Chemicals 
https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3696.pdf   Accessed on September 12, 2016.

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