When a supplier produces or imports a product for distribution and sale in Canada, that supplier must prepare a label that provides the following seven pieces of information:
- Product identification
- Supplier identification
- Hazard symbols
- Risk phrases
- Precautionary statements
- First aid measures
- A statement advising that an MSDS is available
Figure 3 shows an acceptable format for a supplier label.
Often, hazardous materials are transferred to smaller containers in the workplace for use. An example is putting a cleaning solution into a spray bottle to be taken into the kitchen. Unless you are using the product immediately, using all of the amount you put in the smaller container, and no one else will be using it, a workplace label is required.
A workplace label must contain the following information:
- The product identifier
- The hazard information
- A statement indicating that an MSDS is available in the workplace
Workplace labels are not required to have hazard symbols, but there is nothing preventing the employer from including them.
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
An MSDS is a technical bulletin that provides detailed hazard, precautionary, and emergency information on a controlled product. An acceptable format for a data sheet is shown here: View the Sample Material Safety Data Sheet
The data sheet is meant to supplement the alert information provided on labels. Any person or company that uses a controlled product may obtain an MSDS from the supplier of the product. You should obtain an MSDS if you are going to use a product with which you are not familiar.
Copies of supplier and employer MSDS must be accessible to employees. The sheets must be posted close to work areas and made available during each work shift. Workers must be taught what to look for in a data sheet, and they must be given an opportunity to become familiar with the information on the sheets.
The employer must ensure that there is an MSDS for each controlled product found in the workplace. The employer must get in touch with the supplier for an updated sheet when the data sheet is three years old.