A material safety data sheet is a technical document which provides detailed and comprehensive information on a controlled product related to:

  • health effects of exposure to the product
  • hazard evaluation related to the product’s handling, storage or use
  • measure to protect workers at risk of exposure
  • emergency procedures.

The data sheet may be written, printed or otherwise expressed, and must meet the availability, design and content requirements of WHMIS legislation. The legislation provides for flexibility of design and wording but requires that a minimum number of categories of information be completed and that all hazardous ingredients meeting certain criteria be listed subject to exemptions granted under the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act.

The Purpose of Data Sheet:

The data sheet is the second element of the WHMIS information delivery system and is intended to supplement the alert information provided on labels. The third element of the system is the education of employees in hazard information on controlled products, including instruction in the content and significance of information on the MSDS.

Responsibilities Related to the MSDS:

  • 1. Develop or obtain a MSDS for each controlled product imported or sold for use in a workplace
  • 2. Ensure the purchaser of the controlled product has a copy of the current MSDS at the time of or prior to the purchaser receiving the controlled product
  • 3. Make available any information that is considered confidential (trade secret) information and therefore exempt from disclosure to any physician or nurse who requests that information for the purpose or making a medical diagnosis or providing medical treatment