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Material Safety Data Sheets

The OSHA Hazard Communication Standard requires that all employees be provided with information about hazardous chemicals that they use or may be exposed to in the work place. The primary information tool for this is the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), a documnent that suppliers of any hazardous chemical must provide to users, that describes the hazardous properties of the chemical(s) and appropriate risk reduction techniques.

MSDS must be readily accessible in employees' work areas. This requirement can be met by keeping a complete set of MSDSs in every laboratory or work space to provide rapid access. Alternatively, OSHA has stated that online resources may be used as an alternative to storing hard copies provided that a coomputer is accessible in the work area. In a browser's search page enter 'chemical name' + 'msds' + 'manufacturer' (if known).

Laboratories and offices where online access is available may choose this option to replace ot supplement hard copy MSDSs. Mechanical spaces and other work areas where computers and internet access cannot be assumes to be always available must continue to maintain hard copies of MSDSs.

To find MSDSs online, open browser and key in 'chemical name' + 'msds'.

MSDSs and other chemical information for many products can also be found at the websites listed below.

All NYU departments must ensure that they maintain copies of MSDSs for all hazardous materials used in their areas either electronically or in hard copies and they must be readily available to all employees. EHS or the manufacturer can be contacted by phone or email for copies of MSDSs.

Labels

All hazardous chemicals used or stored at the University must be properly labeled at all times. Labels should list at least the chemical identity, appropriate hazard warnings, and the name and address of the manufacturer, importer or other responsible party. Most, if not all of this information should be on the original chemical container. If the chemical is transferred from the original container into another container, the second container must also be labeled with at least the chemical identity, appropriate hazard warnings.

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