The Hazard Communication Standard provides that manufacturers, importers, or distributors dealing with chemicals must provide Safety Data Sheets (SDSs). This provision comes after it revised the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) in 2012. The new requirements state that the SDS should provide complete information about the chemical/substance safe handling, transportation, storage, and disposal procedures.
Unlike MSDS, SDS should be presented in a user-friendly 16-section format for safe and easy interpretation. Also, note that when preparing SDS, it must be in English. However, it can also be written or interpreted in other languages.
An SDS has 16 sections, which must be arranged in order. You must structure each section in a standardized format and cover the required content explicitly. Note that the EU regulations regulate all these features. Below is a breakdown of the 16 sections.
Section 1: Identification
Start your SDS by identifying the chemicals involved. The product identifier should be the one used on the label. Each chemical should have exclusive recommended uses—what the chemical does and the restrictions. In addition, it provides the name, phone number, and address of the manufacturer or importer. Lastly, there must be an emergency number that operators can call in emergencies.
The crucial information to include in this section is:
- Product identifier
- Contacts of the manufacturer or supplier
- Recommended use and restrictions
- Emergency Contact
Section 2: Hazard(s) Identification
Hazard identification involves the pointing out of hazard classification of the chemicals and their label elements.
The details you must include are:
- Hazard classification of the chemical
- Hazard statement(s)
- Signal word
- Precautionary statement(s)
- Unclassified hazards description
Section 3: Composition/Information on Ingredients
The section should clearly describe the products’ ingredients on the SDS. Besides, it should also tell of other additives, including stabilizers and impurities, provided they adhere to the regulations criteria. The safety information on surface chemistry is also vital in this section and should not miss.
Section 4: First Aid Measures
This section should explain first-aid measures to be taken when exposed to the chemicals in the SDS. Its formatting should be simple, so an untrained person can easily understand and apply it with or without special equipment.
Crucial details to include are as follows:
- First aid instruction upon ingestion, inhalation, eye, and skin contact exposure to chemicals
- Symptoms of chemicals effects
- Recommendation for further/specialized treatments
Section 5: Firefighting Measures
Firefighting measures include instructions on extinguishing the fire the chemicals may cause. It should provide details about suitable and unsuitable means to fight the fire. In addition, it should suggest the appropriate protective gear to put on when fighting such fires. Finally, the section should outline potential hazards from the chemical when they burn up.
Section 6: Accidental Release Measures
Chemicals may spill, leak, or be released accidentally, causing health risks when exposed. The section describes handling or cleaning up the space to avoid chemical exposure to people or the immediate environment.
Crucial information in this section is:
- Relevant precautions to minimize the accidental release
- Emergency procedures to be followed when accidental release happens
- Ways and appropriate gear to use to contain the spill or leak
- Procedures for cleaning up the spill
Section 7: Handling and Storage
The storage should provide exclusive coverage on handling and storing chemicals contained in the SDS. The provisions in this section should align with the chemicals’ properties. Also, it should outline precautions for handling and storing the chemicals in line with their corresponding uses. For storage, the section should describe the storage requirements, such as ventilation and so on.
Section 8: Exposure Controls/Personal Protection
Employees working with chemicals may be exposed to the chemicals. This section describes the personal protective measures and engineering controls to tackle chemical exposure.
Significant provisions include:
- Exposure limits recommended by the manufacturer, including American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) and OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs)
- Appropriate engineering controls, such as enclosed systems and local exhaust ventilation.
- Personal protective procedures, such as the use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- PPE use requirements
Section 9: Physical and Chemical Properties
The section contains empirical data entailing the physical and chemical properties of chemicals, substances, and mixtures highlighted in the SDS.
This section provides the following:
- Physical appearance
- Explosive limits
- Odor and odor threshold
- Relative and vapor density
- Auto-ignition temperature
- Melting /freezing point
Note that some of this information may miss in the SDS as they may be unavailable or irrelevant.
Section 10: Stability and Reactivity
The section should explain the stability and reactivity of the chemicals contained in the SDS. Besides, it should describe potential hazardous reactions which may occur under isolated conditions of use. In addition, it indicates how to avoid incompatible materials.
Section 11: Toxicological Information
This section should detail the toxicological effects of the SDS’s chemicals, substances, or mixture. The description should be concise, sufficient, and comprehensive. It should also provide information on the available data to identify potential effects. Therefore, it must contain metabolism, toxicokinetics, and distribution information.
Section 12: Ecological Information
Ecological information entails experimental data on the ecological properties of chemicals contained in the SDS. This data is crucial in assessing and evaluating the environmental impact of the chemicals in case they are released into the environment.
Section 13: Disposal Considerations
The section should describe how and where to safely dispose of the chemicals and their containers. This information helps evaluate the best possible damping site for the chemicals and their containers to avoid human and environmental risks.
Section 14: Transport Information
The section should highlight the appropriate transport means for the chemicals. Typical means of transportation include sea, air, road, or rail.
Section 15: Regulatory Information
The section should highlight all regulatory information and requirements for the said chemicals. Note that some regulatory information might appear in other sections and, in that case, may not appear in this section. Refer to other sections if you need more clarification.
Section 16: Other Information
The section describes all information that may have been missed in other sections of the SDS. This information may include provisions on revising the SDS, abbreviations, acronyms, and relevant hazard statements.
Contact ROI Safety Services Today!
OSHA imposes fines for any violation of the SDS provisions. In August 2016, they raised the fines for violations from $7,000 to $12,471. In addition, the maximum penalty for wilful violations increased from $70,000 to $124,709.
These fines are costly and may retard your business progress. Let ROI Safety Services help you with all your SDS format and compliance requirements. Call us today at (714) 520-1608.