Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
In 1994 the Occupational Health and Safety Adminstation (OSHA) adopted the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The basic goal of an effective hazard communication program is to ensure employers and employees know the identities and hazards of chemicals in their workplaces. The HCS utilized Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) system to communicate the hazards of each chemical. Material safety data sheets contain written or printed material concerning a hazardous chemical as prescribed by law. They contain basic information needed to insure the safety and health of the user at all stages of its manufacture, storage, use, and disposal. They developed out of the chemical data sheets that chemists have been using for the past one hundred or more years.
OSHA revised the HCS standard in 2012 and the revised standard requires that the chemical manufacturer, distributor, or importer provide Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) (formerly MSDSs or Material Safety Data Sheets) for each hazardous chemical to downstream users to communicate information on these hazards. The information contained in the SDS is largely the same as the MSDS, except now the SDSs are required to be presented in a consistent user-friendly, 16-section format. This brief provides guidance to help workers who handle hazardous chemicals to become familiar with the format and understand the contents of the SDSs.
(See 29 CFR 1910.1200(g))
The SDS includes 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. The information contained in the SDS must be in English (although it may be in other languages as well).
By law all employers in the US shall train employees regarding the new label elements and safety data sheets format by December 1, 2013.