How often do MSDS sheets need to be updated? Once in three months? In every six months? One time in a year? Or every time a change is made?
Do you review your MSDS periodically?
This question may come into your head as I had the same question in the past. But, the good news is that you will find the answer in this post.
As you might already know that MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) or SDS (Safety Data Sheet) is a basic reference for handling hazardous chemicals safely. All related SOP you make have to refer to MSDS too.
Whether you are as a manufacturer of a chemical product, as a supplier, or as an end-user, you have to ensure keeping the latest version of the MSDS.
How Often Do MSDS Sheets Need to be Updated?
I had the same question with you in the past until I found the answer.
If you are a manufacturer, you need to determine a regular schedule to update the MSDS of your product.
If you are an end-user, then you have to use and keep the latest version. You can simply ask the supplier or manufacturer to provide it.
I already did a small research to find out MSDS update frequency information. You can use my research result as a reference for determining the updating frequency.
But, the best way to make the best selection is after conforming to local regulation that is applicable in your area. The regulation might refer to one of them. As the consequence, you have to follow that regulation too.
Here are five references that you get the idea in determining MSDS update frequency.
Canadian Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
MSDS updating frequency is every 3 years or when significant new data is available before 3 years elapsed.
This means that revised MSDS must be available if there is a change in the hazard classification of the substance. Or if there is a change in method of handling, storing, or personal protection against its hazard.
If there is significant new data, the supplier must update the MSDS within 90 days.
And if you purchase the product within that period, then your supplier must inform you of the available new information. Then the supplier must inform you when a new revision is available.
Australian Workplace Health and Safety (WHS)
MSDS or SDS must be updated whenever new or significant information about the substance hazard is available.
If not, according to Australian WHS you must review and re-issue in every 5 years period.
Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of Chemicals (REACH)
There is no MSDS update frequency definition in REACH. If new hazard information or information that may require a change in risk management measure, an update is necessary.
New Zealand (epa.govt.nz)
There is no periodic MSDS update frequency definition. MSDS or SDS update is necessary when new data available on the chemical, including its hazardous property and any relevant health and safety information.
The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
MSDS or SDS must be updated when significant change applied to the chemical. Or significant new information about its hazard and protection method against the hazard is available.
How soon must a manufacturer update MSDS following new discoveries? According to OSHA, it is within 3 months.
Some Precautions About MSDS
Sometimes, when a new version of the material safety data sheet for chemicals is not available, you just download the MSDS from the internet. Even though you find that the product name and the manufacturer are different.
Please remind that the product name has to exactly match the product name on the SDS or MSDS.
The other misconception about MSDS or SDS is no periodic review. You think the MSDS validity is forever. This is absolutely wrong. Establish a definite SOP for this purpose.
Do not forget to provide a backup copy of your MSDS collection. For example, you save them as Material Safety Data Sheet PDF on your computer.
Provide a special folder named MSDS sections in the hard disk. So, your colleagues will easily recognize it.
Finally, an updated MSDS is worthless if you never explain it to your followers. Make a short safety slogan to remind you about this matter.
You have to define a periodic update on MSDS or SDS in your SOP. An update is also necessary when new hazard information and a new way in which you manage it are available.
I hope this post could answer your question “How Often Do MSDS Sheets Need to be Updated?”
Note: here is the link to learn how to handle hydrogen peroxide safely.