Weekly Safety Topic – Hazard Communication: Safety Data Sheets

The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires chemical manufacturers, distributors, or importers to provide Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) to communicate the hazards of hazardous chemical products. Employers must maintain copies of the SDS’s for each chemical and make sure they are readily accessible during each shift to their employees. As of June 1, 2015, the HCS requires new SDSs to be in a uniform format and include the section numbers, the headings, and associated information under the headings below:

Section 1: Identification includes product identifier; manufacturer or distributor name, address, phone number; emergency phone number; recommended use; restrictions on use.

Section 2: Hazard(s) identification includes all hazards regarding the chemical; required label elements.

Section 3: Composition/information on ingredients includes chemical ingredients and trade secret claims.

Section 4: First-aid measures include essential symptoms/ effects, acute, delayed, required treatment.

Section 5: Fire-fighting measures list suitable extinguishing techniques, equipment, chemical hazards from fire.

Section 6: Accidental release measures list emergency procedures, protective equipment, proper methods of containment, and cleanup.

Section 7: Handling and storage list precautions for safe handling and storage, including incompatibilities.

Section 8: Exposure controls/personal protection lists OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs); Threshold Limit Values (TLVs); appropriate engineering controls; personal protective equipment (PPE).

Section 9: Physical and chemical properties list the chemical’s characteristics.

Section 10: Stability and reactivity list chemical stability and the possibility of hazardous reactions.

Section 11: Toxicological information includes routes of exposure, related symptoms, acute and chronic effects, numerical measures of toxicity.

Section 12: Ecological information*

Section 13: Disposal considerations*

Section 14: Transport information*

Section 15: Regulatory information*

Section 16: Other information includes the date of preparation or last revision.