What’s a Material Safety Data Sheet?

Handling chemicals safely requires a detailed knowledge of the chemicals’ properties, identification of the hazards, assessment of risks and controls in place and working.

Every chemical you use in the workplace should have a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) displayed near or readily accessable to where the chemical is used. The MSDS provides all the information needed to use chemicals correctly, treat spills or manage accidents.

The MSDS gives information on:

  • The name of the chemical and any trade names.
  • Detail of the risks to safety and health.
  • How to use the chemical safely.
  • First Aid instructions in the event of an accident.
  • Protective equipment required.
  • How to clean up the chemical in the event of a spill.

You can get this information from the manufacturer of the chemical or there are some quite good websites that carry MSDS downloads. Remember you must also have the information in any vehicles that carry the chemicals in volume. Check with us if you are unsure.
In all parts of Australia there are clear legal requirements covering the safe storage and use of chemicals classed as Dangerous Goods. If you are unsure about your obligations or need help with a Dangerous Goods site contact us on

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Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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