(SDS) are the updated equivalent of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). These important health and safety sheets provide important information about chemicals that may be used in the workplace and how these substances should be handled to prevent injury or environmental accidents.
With over 650,000 MSDS recorded and hundreds of new SDS versions added every year, SDS services play an important part in helping companies keep up with their compliance. Even with easy access through SDS software programs, not every business needs to generate all those sheets. Companies should print out and make available the ones that relate to their workplace and are necessary for maintaining workplace safety.
What Is the Purpose of An SDS?
Safety data sheets are written, printable records that contain essential information about chemicals that may be used in the workplace. These records explain the chemical makeup, storage and handling of the substance, known hazards and interactions with other substances, accident and spill protocol, and other critical information about the chemical. This is especially significant for companies developing new products using methods that may involve mixing different chemicals.
Keeping them on hand in written format, as well as distributing the sheets to employees, enables companies to promote open communication with workers about the hazards they work with and around on a daily basis. This safety informatioSafety data sheetsn, when printed from SDS software, make health and safety compliance much easier for any company using chemicals in the workplace, ensuring the protection of all employees against possible chemical hazards they might encounter.
When Should Businesses Generate A New SDS?
Although OSHA catalogs nearly three-quarters of a million MSDS/SDS currently, the organization reports that hundreds of new documents are added every year as new products and chemical formulations are developed. Most companies probably do not need to generate a new SDS, as in all likelihood one already exists that documents the chemical properties and mixtures they are working with; however, this must first be confirmed by looking materials up with up-to-date SDS software.
When no SDS exists, companies should generate a new one if their chemical product or application meets the criteria necessary to require a safety sheet.
Criteria for SDS Sheet Generation
According to OSHA, if materials in use are non-interacting, companies can generate a new safety sheet that incorporates the information provided in the individual sheets for the different ingredients. In instances where mixtures may vary, are potentially interactive, or its ingredients fit the criteria as hazardous, it is then necessary for companies to generate a document that treats the new substance as a new chemical.
New documents created by SDS services must be made in accordance with OSHA standards and provide all required ingredient and hazard information. Mixtures that contain ingredients that are not considered to be hazardous chemicals do not require the generation of a new SDS.
OSHA standards are very specific on which chemicals should have new safety data sheets generated if none already exists. Companies creating new products or chemical mixtures as suggested above must research the chemicals in use with their SDS software as well as the OSHA website to specifically determine whether their mixture must be documented and how that should be done. Compliance to workplace safety regulations is essential in order to provide the best SDS services to employees and help companies maintain a safe workplace environment when working with new compounds and mixtures.