One of the most important tools an employee can have when dealing with a hazardous chemical is, information. When dealing with hazardous chemicals, the SDS is the tool needed for information to protect and guide a person on the proper handling of hazardous materials. SDS stands for, Safety Data Sheet. An SDS can be many pages or just one. The format for an SDS can vary from one manufacturer to another but all SDS’s have to supply the basic Requirement as set forth by OSHA.
The contents of an SDS shall include: The chemical manufacturer, each SDS shall be written in English although copies of another language can accompany, the chemical name on the SDS must be the same as on the container on delivery, the supplier must list both the chemical and common name, the chemical and common name of all ingredients, physical and chemical characteristics, physical hazards such as (fire, explosion, etc.), health hazards including signs and symptoms of acute and chronic exposure, the manufacturer must state weather the chemical is listed in the national toxicology program, a list of precautions for safe handling, any control measures such as, work practices PPE and engineering controls, Emergency first aid procedures, Date of preparation of the SDS and the manufacturers address and phone number.
Employees using the SDS need to follow these guidelines
- Read and familiarize yourself with the chemical and the SDS.
- Be familiar with the hazards of the chemical you will be working with.
- Use engineering controls and PPE as required protecting yourself from exposure.
- Know what the emergency procedures are and where any safety showers are located.