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Hazardous Material Information Sheets

What are HMIS?

  • Purpose:
    • Identify hazardous materials in a work space.
    • Use Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to determine the degree of hazard.
    • Post signs to indicate the potential hazards for emergency crew responders.
    • Methods for employee training.

How are the materials rated?

Materials are rated on three criteria based on their physical properties and characteristics. The ratings are taken from the National Fire Protection Association's guidelines for hazardous materials. The system is divided into three categories and indicates the severity of the hazard on a scale from 0 (no special hazard) to 4 (severe hazard).

  • Health:
    1. Minimal Hazard: No significant risk to health
    2. Slight Hazard: Irritation or minor reversible injury possible.
    3. Moderate Hazard: Temporary or minor injury may occur.
    4. Serious Hazard: Major injury likely unless prompt action is taken and medical treatment given.
    5. Severe Hazard: Life threatening. Major permanent damage may result from single or repeated exposures.
  • Flammability:
    1. Minimal Hazard: Materials that are normally stable and will not burn unless heated.
    2. Slight Hazard: Materials that must be preheated for ignition to occur; flash points at or above 200°F.
    3. Moderate Hazard: Materials which must be moderately heated for ignition to occur; flash points at or above 100°F and below 200°F.
    4. Serious Hazard: Materials capable of ignition under almost all normal temperatures and/or conditions; flammable liquids with flash points below 73°F and boiling points above 100°F, as well as liquids with flash points between 73°F — 100°F.
    5. Sever Hazard: Very flammable gases or very volatile flammable liquids with flash points below 73°F and boiling points below 100°F.
  • Reactivity:
    1. Minimal Hazard: Materials that are normally stable even under fire conditions ad will not react with water.
    2. Slight Hazard: Materials that are normally stable, but can become unstable at high temperatures and pressures. May react with water, but will not release energy violently.
    3. Moderate Hazard: Materials that are normally stable, but can become unstable at high temperatures and pressures. May react with water but will not release energy violently.
    4. Serious Hazard: Materials which are capable of detonation of explosive reaction, but require a strong initiating source or must be heated under confinement before initiation; or materials which react explosively with water.
      1. Severe Hazard: Materials that are readily capable of detonation or explosive temperatures and pressures.

Where can I find material ratings?

  • The ratings for hazardous materials can be found on the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for that particular product. These are normally provided in product shipping. For more information concerning MSDS click here.

What does an HMIS sign look like?

HMIS Sign