The Safety Data sheet

Working with lubricants is hazardous. You might have wondered about the safety of your personnel or the environment many times as you work around these complex chemicals.These concerns lead you to find additional information about your lubricant, and this is where you refer to the Product's "Safety Data Sheet".Formally known as “Material Safety Data Sheet” (MSDS), it is a 16 section mandatory document which outlines crucial information about the lubricants which would be useful in case of accidents. An SDS contains 11 mandatory elements and 5 non-mandatory elements. Let us look at the first five points for a better understanding.

Section 1: Identification

The purpose of this section is to identify the lubricant by its common name that is seen on its label and any other names that are used as synonyms for identifying the product worldwide. It also mentions the detailed contact information of the importer or manufacturer with an emergency phone number. It also states the recommended usage and restrictions of the product.

Section 2: Hazard Identification

This section mentions all the hazards related to the use of the lubricant. It statesprecautionary measures and appropriate warnings for the product. The details of used marine oil, for example, would include:
GHS Classification:

GHS label elements

Hazard pictograms:
Signal word: Danger
Hazard statements: May cause cancer. Harmful to aquatic life with long-lasting effects

Precautionary statements

Prevention: Obtain special instructions before use. Use personal protective equipment required. Avoid release to the environment.
Response: If exposed or concerned: Get medical attention.
Storage: Store locked up.
Disposal: Not applicable.
Other hazards which do not result in classification: Defatting to the skin.

Section 3: Composition/Information on Ingredients

This sectiondescribes the mixture of ingredient substances, impurities and any stabilizing additives present in the lubricant. If the formulation of ingredients inside the lubricant is a trade secret, it should be stated here. The details of our used marine oil would include:
Substance/mixture: Substance
Mineral oil. Proprietary performance additives.
Ingredient name
Ingredient name
CAS number
CAS number
Ingredient name
Lubricating oils, used
50 - 100
CAS number

There are no additional ingredients present which, within the current knowledge of the supplier and in the concentrations applicable, are classified as hazardous to health or the environment and hence require reporting in this section.

Occupational exposure limits, if available, are listed in Section 8

Section 4: First Aid Measures

This section explains the immediate care procedures and recommendations for anyone who is exposed to the lubricant. These instructions can be followed by untrained respondents for instant aid before medical assistance is available. Details of our used marine oil would include:
Description of necessary first aid measures
Inhalation: If inhaled, remove to fresh air. Get medical attention.

Ingestion: Do not induce vomiting unless directed to do so by medical personnel. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. If unconscious, place in recovery position and get medical attention immediately. Get medical attention.

Skin contact: In case of contact, immediately flush eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes. Eyelids should be held away from the eyeball to ensure thorough rinsing. Check for and remove any contact lenses. Get medical attention.

Eye contact: In case of contact, immediately flush skin with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes while removing contaminated clothing and shoes. Wash skin thoroughly with soap and water or use recognised skin cleanser. Wash clothing before reuse. Clean shoes thoroughly before reuse. Get medical attention.

Protection of first-aiders: No action shall be taken involving any personal risk or without suitable training. If it is suspected that fumes are still present, the rescuer should wear an appropriate mask or self-contained breathing apparatus. It may be dangerous to the person providing aid to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Wash contaminated clothing thoroughly with water before removing it, or wear gloves.
Indication of immediate medical attention and special treatment needed, if necessary

Specific treatments: No specific treatment.

Notes to physician: Treatment should, in general, be symptomatic and directed to relieving any effects.

Section 5: Fire-fighting measures

This section covers Fire-fighting recommendations which would be useful if the lubricant catches fire. Details of our used marine oil would include:

Extinguishing media

Suitable: Use foam or all-purpose dry chemical to extinguish.

Not suitable: Do not use water jet.

Specific hazards arising from the chemical: Firewater contaminated with this material must be contained and prevented from being discharged to any waterway, sewer or drain. If in a fire or if heated, a pressure increase will occur and the container may burst. This material is harmful to aquatic life with long-lasting effects.
Hazardous thermal decomposition products: Combustion products may include the following: carbon oxides (CO, CO2) (carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide)

Special precautions for  Firefighters: Promptly isolate the scene by removing all persons from the vicinity of the incident if there is a fire. No action shall be taken involving any personal risk or without suitable training.

Special protective equipment for fire-fighters: Fire-fighters should wear positive pressure self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) and full turnout gear.

A safe workplace

Any lubrication management program needs properly maintained Safety Data Sheets for all the lubricants that are used in the system. It is absolutely critical to your workplace-safety that you have all your lubrication technicians and maintainers properly trained on how to read and follow an SDS. Ensure that printed and online copies of SDS are easily accessible to everyone in your plant. Place them in conspicuous places like, near the first-aid or eyewash-stations, maintenance shops and/or lubricant storerooms.

The example used in this article is from one of the Castrol’s products - (SMI2331). The sections preceding “section 5” are - Accidental release measures (Section 6), Handling and storage (Section 7), Exposure controls/personal protection (Section 8), Physical and chemical properties(Section 9), Stability and reactivity (Section 10), Toxicological information (Section 11), Ecological information (Section 12), Disposal considerations (Section 13), Transport information (Section 14), Regulatory information (Section 15) and Other information (Section 16). Castrol takes the security and well-being of the engineers and the environment very seriously. Liquid engineers at Castrol firmly believe that understanding the risk associated with any lubricant is the responsibility of the workers.
This information is provided for guidance and informational purposes only. This website and information are not intended to provide investment, laboratory or manufacturing process advice.
The information contained herein has been compiled from sources deemed reliable and it is accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief. However, Castrol cannot guarantee its accuracy, completeness, and validity and cannot be held liable for any errors or omissions, as the results change depending on the working condition/environment.  Changes are periodically made to this information and may be made at any time.
All information contained herein should be independently verified and confirmed.