Safety Data Sheets

Safety data sheets (SDS) have replaced the former OSHA MSDS sheets as of 2012 when the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) was revised. These sheets can be easily authored and managed using your own safety data software or by contracting with safety data sheets services. If your company is required to distribute SDS sheets, you must now compose those sheets using the new, 16-part format that satisfies both HCS and GHS requirements.

Following are the 16 parts that make up this new format along with explanations that may help your company process and distribute these new sheets.

  1. Chemical Identification - This includes: the name(s) and any product identifiers of SDS-listed chemical; the name, address, and phone number of the manufacturer, importer, or other responsible parties; and a brief description of intended uses, what it does, and any restrictions or warnings.  
  2. Hazard Identification - This identifies any notable hazards presented by chemicals on safety data sheets including hazard classification and statements, signal words, pictograms and precautionary statements. It includes a description of any hazard not classified as well as a percentage amount within a mixture with unknown toxicity.  
  3. Ingredient Identification - This identifies all ingredients in a chemical or product including substance names and details, mixture and concentration amounts, and any notes about trade secret production information.
  4. First Aid Measures - This portion of the form includes a description of the initial response to be used when an accidental exposure occurs. It also contains first aid treatments for different types of exposures, notes on specific hazards that can develop, and suggestions on how to proceed after administering first aid.
  5. Fire Fighting Measures - These measures are instructions on fighting fires caused by the substance listed on the SDS sheet including suitable extinguishing materials, protective equipment to use, and any hazards that may develop.
  6. Accidental Release Measures - These are recommendations on how to handle accidental spills or releases including containment, protective equipment to use, clean-up instructions, and known hazards to people and the environment as well as emergency procedures.
  7. Safe Handling and Storage - This portion of the form lists precautions and instructions for safe handling of the chemical, incompatible chemicals, storage containment materials and other storage recommendations.  
  8. Exposure Control and Personal Protection - This lists information on exposure and threshold limits, ways to reduce exposure during use, and any required personal protection to reduce or prevent exposure to a certain chemical.
  9. Chemical and Physical Properties - This is a detailed portion of SDS sheets authored by using safety data software which includes all properties, chemical and physical information such as appearance, odor and odor threshold, flammability and pressure thresholds, vapor pressure and density, relative density, melting and freezing point, pH factor, solubility, boiling and flash point, evaporation rate, and a number of other essential details.
  10. Stability and Reactivity - This shows chemical reaction hazards and chemical stability, including specific reactivity test data; stability conditions and the need for stabilizers; and any other information available about reactivity and maintaining chemical stability.  
  11. Toxicological Information - This includes data on toxicological hazards and effects including exposure routes, delayed response hazard, toxicity doses, toxicity symptoms, and carcinogen information.   
  12. Ecological Information - This is data on environmental toxicology including environmental and animal toxicity tests, biodegradability, bioaccumulation potential, absorption potential, and other adverse environmental effects.
  13. Disposal Practices - These are instructions on safe disposal, recycling, or reclaiming of the chemical and its containers including safe handling and personal protection required during disposal. It must also include specific precautions for sewer and landfill disposal
  14. Transport Information - These are instructions on safe and proper shipping and transport of a chemical by road, rail, air, or sea. Data required for inclusion by safety data sheets services includes: UN name and number; transportation hazard classification; environmental hazards; handling precautions; and other safety information.  
  15. Regulatory Information - This is any health, safety, or environmental regulations provided by national safety organizations that apply to the chemical or chemical mixtures.
  16. Other Important Information - This includes documentation of when the SDS was authored, a record of all changes made to the document, when the last change was made, and any other pertinent information not found in the other sections.

Although the new safety data sheets format may seem lengthy, it contains basically the same information as the old MSDS sheet yet in a more consistent format. If your company still needs to revise your sheets or create new ones, you can work with qualified safety data sheets services or generate your own by using convenient safety data software!

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