Safety Data Sheets are a very important factor in the GHS hazard communication enabling chemical manufacturers, distributors, or importers to comply with competent authority (CA) requirements. They should provide information on the properties of substances and mixtures which meet harmonized criteria; the physical, health, and environmental health hazards; protective measures; and safety precautions for handling, storing, and transporting the chemical.
In this blog we present practical information on preparing Safety Data Sheet according to GHS requirements:
- The information included in the SDS must be in English and written in a consistent and complete way keeping in mind that will be used to inform workers, employers, health and safety personnel, as well as relevant government agencies and members of the community.
- Simple, clear and precise language without jargon, acronyms and abbreviations should be used in order to avoid confusion.
- The date of issue, meaning the date the SDS version was published, must be stated. If an SDS is revised, the date of issue, version number and revision number has to be mentioned. The SDS must not contain blanks.
- If there is no applicable information on a chemical or is lacking, that should be clearly reported.
- Numbers and quantities are generally expressed in the International System of Units (SI).
- A SDS consists of 16 sections: Sections 1 through 8 include general information about the chemical, identification, hazards, composition, safe handling practices, and emergency control measures. Sections 9 through 11 and 16 contain other technical and scientific information, such as physical and chemical properties, stability and reactivity information, toxicological information, exposure control information, and other information including the date of preparation or last revision.
- Sections 12 through 15 provide ecological, transport-disposal and regulatory information. These sections are not mandatory, but they should be included as they are consistent with the UN Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). However OSHA will not enforce their content, because they concern matters handled by other agencies.
- Finally, a responsible person for obtaining and maintaining the SDSs may be designate. This competent person should regularly attend relative refresh courses and training.
The scope of using SDS is to help users to take the necessary measures in order to protect the health and the safety at the workplace, and the protection of the environment. By taking this into account, employers have to ensure that employees have immediate access to the SDSs for all hazardous chemicals in their workplace.