A wide assortment of potentially hazardous chemicals—and
materials that contain potentially hazardous chemicals—can be
found at job sites. The Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) requires these products and materials to have
accompanying material safety data sheets (MSDSs) that detail the
products' natures and related hazards. Making MSDSs available to
workers is an easy part of complying with OSHA's hazard
communication requirements; a more challenging aspect is making
certain all roofing workers understand MSDSs so they can avoid or
minimize chemical exposures.
OSHA regulates chemical hazard evaluation and transmittal of
related information to employers and employees in its hazard
communication standard, 29 CFR §1910.1200. The standard
requires manufacturers to assess the hazards of the chemicals they
produce; most manufacturers post current MSDSs on their Web sites
for easy access. Chemical product distributors are required to
provide MSDSs to employers who must maintain them in their
OSHA requires MSDSs to be in English and contain the following
information for each...
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