Health & Safety Bulletin – Safety Data Sheets – Feb 19

What is Safety Data Sheets or SDS?

Safety Data Sheets (SDS’s) are documents that provide information about hazardous chemicals, they include information on:

  • The chemical’s identity and ingredients
  • Health and physical hazards
  • Safe handling and storage procedures
  • Emergency procedures and
  • Dispersal considerations.

The model Code of Practice for the Preparation of Safety Data Sheets for Hazardous Chemicals should contain the following:
Section 1 – Product Identification
Section 2 – Hazards ID
Section 3 – Composition and Information on Ingredients.
Section 4 – First Aid Measures
Section 5 – Fire Fighting Measures
Section 6 – Accidental Release Measures
Section 7 – Handling and Storage, including how the chemical maybe safely used.
Section 8 – Exposure controls and personal protection
Section 9 – Physical and chemical properties.
Section 10 – Stability and reactivity
Section 11 – Toxicological information
Section 12 – Ecological information
Section 13 – Disposal considerations
Section 14 – Transport information
Section 15 – Regulatory information
Section 16 – Any other relevant information

Obtaining Safety Data Sheets

SDS may be requested from the manufacturer, importer or supplier of a hazardous chemicals and many manufacturers and importers/suppliers make electronic copies of the SDS available on their websites.

Reviewing Safety Data Sheets

Manufacturers and importers of hazardous chemicals must review and update SDS they produce at least every five years.

Keeping copies of safety data sheets

All organizations must keep copies of SDS for the chemicals they use and they must be readily accessible for all workers involved in using, handling or storing the chemicals at the workplace, emergency service workers and anyone who may be exposed to the chemical.

Best Operating Practice

All employees who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals shall understand, read and wear the appropriate PPE as recommended by SDS.

Safety Data Sheets are comprehensive but not exhaustive

The handling and safety precautions for the use of hazardous chemicals will need to take into consideration using risk assessment and implementation of appropriate controls.