Hazard Communication - Safety Data Sheets
The Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200(g)), requires that the chemical manufacturer, distributor, or importer provide safety data sheets for each hazardous chemical to users to communicate information on these hazards.
Employers must ensure that Safety data sheets are readily accessible to employees for all hazardous chemicals in their workplace. Employers may keep the safety data sheets in a binder or on computers. Employees must have immediate access to the information without leaving their work area when needed and a backup is available for rapid access to the safety data sheet in the case of a power outage or other emergency.
The safety data sheets include information such as the properties of each chemical; the physical, health, and environmental health hazards; protective measures; and safety precautions for handling, storing, and transporting the chemical.
Safety data sheets are broken down into sections. Sections 1 through 8 contain 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.
Safety data sheets must also contain Sections 12 through 15, to be consistent with the UN Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), but OSHA will not enforce the content of these sections because they concern matters handled by other agencies.
Section 1: Identification
Identifies the chemical on the safety data sheet as well as the recommended uses. It also provides the essential contact information of the supplier.
Section 2: Hazard(s) Identification
Identifies the hazards of the chemical presented on the safety data sheet and the appropriate warning information associated with those hazards.
Section 3: Composition / Information on Ingredients
Identifies the ingredient(s) contained in the product indicated on the safety data sheet, including impurities and stabilizing additives. This section includes information on substances, mixtures, and all chemicals where a trade secret is claimed.
Section 4: First-Aid Measures
Describes the initial care that should be given by untrained responders to an individual who has been exposed to the chemical.
Section 5: Fire-Fighting Measures
Provides recommendations for fighting a fire caused by the chemical.
Section 6: Accidental Release Measures
Provides recommendations on the appropriate response to spills, leaks, or releases, including containment and cleanup practices to prevent or minimize exposure to people, properties, or the environment. It may also include recommendations distinguishing between responses for large and small spills where the spill volume has a significant impact on the hazard.
Section 7: Handling and Storage
Provides guidance on the safe handling practices and conditions for safe storage of chemicals.
Section 8: Exposure Controls/Personal Protection
Indicates the exposure limits, engineering controls, and personal protective measures that can be used to minimize worker exposure.
Section 9: Physical and Chemical Properties
Identifies physical and chemical properties associated with the substance or mixture.
Section 10: Stability and Reactivity
Describes the reactivity hazards of the chemical and the chemical stability information. This section is broken into three parts: reactivity, chemical stability, and other.
Section 11: Toxicological Information
Identifies toxicological and health effects information or indicates that such data are not available.
Section 12: Ecological Information (Non-mandatory)
Provides information to evaluate the environmental impact of the chemical(s) if it were released to the environment.
Section 13: Disposal Consideration (Non-mandatory)
Provides guidance on proper disposal practices, recycling or reclamation of the chemical(s) or its container, and safe handling practices. To minimize exposure, this section should also refer the reader to Section 8 (Exposure Controls/Personal Protection) of the safety data sheet.
Section 14: Transport Information (Non-mandatory)
Provides guidance on classification information for shipping and transporting of hazardous chemicals by road, air, rail, or sea.
Section 15: Regulatory Information (Non-mandatory)
Identifies the safety, health, and environmental regulations specific for the product that is not indicated anywhere else on the safety data sheet.
Section 16: Other Information
indicates when the SDS was prepared or when the last known revision was made. The SDS may also state where the changes have been made to the previous version.