Ask the expert: Hazardous drug MSDS file

By: April 28th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Q: For my material safety data sheet (MSDS) files, I separate chemicals from the injectable hazardous drugs. Is this OK with OSHA?

A: Yes. OSHA says you can organize your MSDS files to fit the situation of your workplace and how your employees can best access the files. Just be sure to include an explanation of your MSDS filing method in the Hazard Communication standard training.

If you struggle with when you need an MSDS and when you don’t, download the “Determining when an MSDS is necessary” decision chart from the Tools page.


How long do you have to keep MSDS files for products no longer used in the health center? I did not see MSDS or Hazardous Com on the Safety Recordkeeping Requirement sheet in the tools section.
Thank you.

By David LaHoda on September 5th, 2010 at 11:07 am

You don’t need to keep MSDSs for products no longer in use.

Keep in mind however that you do need to keep either the MSDS, 1910.1020(c)(5)(iii), or a “chemical inventory or any other record which reveals where and when used and the identity (e.g., chemical, common, or trade name) of a toxic substance or harmful physical agent,” 1910.1020(c)(5)(iv), according to the key information from the MSDS as part of any exposure records, according to the OSHA Access to Employee Exposure and Medical Records standard.


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