MSDSs, as was mentioned earlier, are redefined as SDSs under GHS and remain the backbone of HCS and WHMIS compliance. Under GHS, SDSs are presented in a 16 section format with a required ordering of sections. It is essentially the ANSI Standard for SDSs, with a few minor tweaks. The sections, in order, are as follows:

  1. Identification
  2. Hazard(s) Identification
  3. Composition/Ingredient Information
  4. First-Aid Measures
  5. Fire-Fighting Measures
  6. Accidental Release Measures
  7. Handling and Storage
  8. Exposure Control/Personal Protection
  9. Physical & Chemical Properties
  10. Stability & Reactivity
  11. Toxicological Information
  12. Ecological Information
  13. Disposal Considerations
  14. Transport Information
  15. Regulatory Information
  16. Other Information

To be GHS-compliant, an SDS needs all 16 sections; however, OSHA will not be enforcing information contained in sections 12-15, which fall outside the Agency’s jurisdiction. With GHS alignment, employers should prepare for a large influx of new SDSs to occur within a short time frame.