Dummy’s guide to Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

  • What the potential hazards are in the workplace
  • Who could be affected by the hazards
  • How the risks can be mitigated
  • How accidents can be dealt with
  • Who deals with what eg who deals with first aid
  1. Identification of the substance/mixture and details of the supplier/manufacturer
  • What state the substance is in ie. liquid, gas etc..
  • Identifiable odour, the melting and freezing points, flammability of substance, danger of explosion
  • Viscosity, solubility in water (can it be mixed), density and evaporation rate
  • Does it react to any other substance, under what conditions is it stable ie room temperature or don’t allow to freeze
  • Any possibility of hazardous reactions, conditions to avoid (eg too much light) and incompatible materials (what not to use it with)
  • A concise description of toxicological health effects in relevant hazard classes such as :
  • Acute toxicity
  • Skin corrosion/irritation
  • Serious eye damage/irritation
  • Respiratory or skin sensitisation
  • Germ cell mutagenicity
  • Carcinogenicity
  • Reproductive toxicity
  • Information regarding the environmental impact of the substance when released into the environment such as aquatic toxicity, the effect on plants and insects or other organisms.
  • Proper waste management of the substance to ensure safe disposal
  • Whether special documentation is required for transport or if it’s classified as a Dangerous Good and has specific transport requirements
  • Other information not mentioned in the SDS ie
  • If a chemical safety assessment has been carried out
  • If it’s related to ozone layer depletion or is an organic pollutant
  • Specific national requirements or compliance with safety and/or environmental regulations
  • Any additional information not covered in the other sections
  • Revisions or changes to the SDS
  • A legend to abbreviations and acronyms used in the SDS
  • References or sources for evaluating the information presented in the SDS
  • A list of relevant hazards and/or precautionary statements

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