Solutions for Safety & Workplace Communication
Written by Steve Hudgik
The 2012 Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires chemical manufacturers, distributors, and importers to provide Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) for the chemicals they supply. These replace the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) that were required under the previous HCS.
There must be an SDS for every hazardous chemical by June 1, 2015.
The information required on the HCS 2012 Safety Data Sheet is essentially the same as that in the previous MSDS standard. The major difference is that there was no format specified for the MSDS. The 2012 HCS requires a specific format for the SDS using standard headings and with the information presented in a specific sequence.
Paragraph (g) of the 2012 HCS gives the headings to be used on SDS and the order in which they are to be used. Appendix D defines the information that is to be included under each heading. The SDS format is the same format as was already specified by ANSI, which already is in wide use.
Employers must ensure that SDSs are readily accessible to employees.
Section 1: Identification includes the product identifier; the manufacturer or distributor name, address and phone number; an emergency phone number; the recommended use; and restrictions on use.
Section 2: Hazard(s) identification this section lists all of the hazards associated with the chemical and provides the required GHS label elements.
Section 3: Composition/information on ingredients includes information on chemical ingredients and any trade secret claims.
Section 4: First-aid measuresincludes descriptions of important symptoms/ effects, including acute symptoms and delayed symptoms; and gives the required first aid treatment.
Section 5: Fire-fighting measuresmeasures lists suitable and unsuitable extinguishing media, the hazards arising from combustion products, and special protective equipment and precautions for fire-fighters.
Section 6: Accidental release measures lists personal precautions, protective equipment, and emergency procedures. Also lists methods and materials for containment and cleaning up.
Section 7: Handling and storage storage lists the precautions for safe handling, and the conditions required for safe storage, including any incompatibilities.
Section 8: Exposure controls/personal protection lists OSHA's Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs); the Threshold Limit Values (TLVs); appropriate engineering controls; and personal protective equipment (PPE).
Section 9: Physical and chemical properties lists the chemical's characteristics, such as the odor, pH, melting point/freezing point, flash point and viscosity.
Section 10: Stability and reactivity lists chemical stability and possibility of hazardous reactions.
Section 11: Toxicological information includes routes of exposure; related symptoms, acute and chronic effects; numerical measures of toxicity.
Section 12, Ecological information* - provides the ecotoxicity (aquatic and terrestrial, where available), persistence and degradability, bioaccumulative potential, mobility in soil, and other adverse effects (such as hazardous to the ozone layer).
Section 13, Disposal considerations* - provides a description of the waste residues and information about their safe handling and methods of disposal, including the disposal of any contaminated packaging.
Section 14, Transport information* – includes identifying information, transport hazard class(es), environmental hazards, and special precautions which a user needs to be aware of, or needs to comply with, in connection with transport or conveyance either within or outside their premises.
Section 15, Regulatory information* - identifies applicable safety, health and environmental regulations specific for the product in question.
Section 16: Other informationincludes the date of preparation or last revision.
Section 2 of the SDS provides the following information needed for GHS labels
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*These sections are not required by OSHA. This information is regulated by other Federal Agencies.