OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 29 Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)

Section 407 Availability of material safety data sheet

MSDSs must be readily available to workers at the work site. “Readily available” is interpreted to mean that the MSDS is located near workers in physical copy form and accessible to workers during each shift. Workers are not required to work with the product until they see the MSDS, if they wish to do so.

MSDSs may be made readily available to workers via an electronic storage and retrieval system if:
(a) the system is available for use during all workshifts,
(b) a trained operator is available on each shift to retrieve the information or, alternatively, all workers are trained to retrieve the information,
(c) the system is provided at all work sites, and
(d) the system is capable of providing paper copies of MSDSs.

Hard copies of MSDSs must be at all work sites, including mobile work sites, unless the employer can demonstrate an equivalent means of providing this information (for example, electronic storage and retrieval). It is not acceptable to have the worker call in and have information read over the telephone.