Using an MSDS

Here is the MSDS Worksheet for you to complete. The MSDS for the assignment is linked to in the information below. If you click on the graphic or the text, it will take you to the correct page.


Material Safety Data Sheets provide information about handling, use and storage of chemicals that may be hazardous. The objective of this procedure is to show you how to identify and define information found on an MSDS.

Part 1. Preparation and safety


  • Identify and define information found on an MSDS.

Personal safety

Whenever you perform a task in the workshop you must use personal protective clothing and equipment that is appropriate for the task and which conforms to your local safety regulations and policies. Among other items, this may include:

  • Work clothing - such as coveralls and steel-capped footwear
  • Eye protection - such as safety glasses and face masks
  • Ear protection - such as earmuffs and earplugs
  • Hand protection - such as rubber gloves and barrier cream
  • Respiratory equipment - such as face masks and valved respirators

If you are not certain what is appropriate or required, ask your supervisor.

Safety check

  • A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) plays an important part in maintaining personal and workshop safety. It is your responsibility to be aware of any dangers and hazards when using chemicals.

Materiaal Safety Data Sheet

Points to note

  • Material Safety Data Sheets provide information about handling, use and storage of chemicals that may be hazardous.
  • They also alert you to symptoms you will experience if you are exposed to the chemical, and provide basic first aid procedures.
  • All suppliers produce an MSDS for the product they manufacture and it should be provided when the product is purchased.
  • The MSDS should always be clearly visible and located near the product's storage area.
  • Ask your supervisor to show you the MSDS location in your workshop. Familiarize yourself with their format and the information they contain.

Part 2: Step-by-step instruction

  1. Locate the appropriate MSDS
    Once you have studied the information on the container label, find the Material Safety Data Sheet, or MSDS, for that particular material.
  2. Check the revision date
    Always check the revision date to ensure that you’re reading the most recent update.
  3. Material and manufacturer ID
    Note the chemical and trade names for the material, who manufactures it, and the emergency telephone number to call.
  4. Hazardous ingredients
    Find out why this material is potentially hazardous. It may be flammable, it may explode or it may be poisonous if inhaled or touched with your bare skin.
    Check the “threshold limit values” or TLVs. The concentration of this material in the air you breathe in your workshop must not exceed these figures. There could be physical symptoms associated with breathing harmful chemicals.
  5. Health hazard data
    Study the TLV, and find out what will happen to you if you suffer overexposure to the material, either through breathing it in, or coming into physical contact with it.|
    This section will help you take safety precautions, such as eye, face or skin protection, wearing a mask or respirator while using the material, or washing your skin afterwards.
  6. Fire and explosion data
    Note the flash point for this material so that you know at what temperature it may catch fire.
    Also note what kind of fire extinguisher you would use to fight a fire involving this material. The wrong fire extinguisher could make the emergency even worse.
  7. Mixing or reacting with other materials
    Study this section to identify the physical conditions or other materials that you should avoid when using this material.
    It could be heat, moisture or some other chemical.
  8. Special precautions
    The last two sections will show you what special precautions you should take when working with this material.
    This will include personal protection for your skin, eyes or lungs and storage and use of the material.
  9. Refresh your knowledge
    Be sure to refresh your knowledge of your MSDS sheets from time to time.
    Be confident that you know how to handle and use the material, and what action to take in an emergency, if one should occur.
Tony Ferguson,
Apr 7, 2011, 9:56 AM
Tony Ferguson,
Apr 7, 2011, 9:56 AM