Hazard Alert
Worker's Compensation Board
POSTER # Hazard Alert 93-06

When using or storing chemicals —
Keep Material Safety Data Sheets Available


While servicing a restaurant fire extinguisher system, a worker was struck in the chest by the cylinder valve which blew off the cylinder. When the valve hit her in the chest, she gasped and ingested corrosive material that blew out of the cylinder. She suffered lung and stomach damage as a result of ingesting the corrosive chemical. The valve assembly was put together with mismatched parts by a previous service contractor. A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) identifying the chemical in the cylinder, its toxicological properties and treatment measures was not available. Early treatment in the hospital was restricted by the lack of information about the chemical involved.

Employers must ensure that Material Safety Data Sheets are available for all controlled products used in their workplace. Copies of the MSDSs must be accessible to employees and close to their work areas. Service contractors must have copies of MSDSs that pertain to controlled products with which they are working.

Workers must be knowledgeable about the products they use, the nature of the hazard, and procedures for safe use, storage and handling.

This poster is part of an archival collection of WCB health and safety posters, dating from 1969 until the present time. At the time this poster was originally produced, it reflected the current WCB requirements. In all cases, today's WCB regulation and requirements must be applied to the situation shown in each poster.