A safety data sheet (SDS), also known as a material safety data sheet (MSDS) or a product safety data sheet (PSDS), describes the hazards that a particular chemical substance can present. It also provides key information on how to correctly handle and store a particular substance as well as detailing emergency measures to be taken in the event of an accident e.g. first aid measures, fire-fighting measures and accidental release measures.
In the U.K., Regulation 12 of COSHH regulations requires that an employer provides information, instruction and training for employees exposed to hazardous substances. It would be virtually impossible for employers to comply with this regulation, ensuring safe chemical storage and handling, without the presence of data sheets. It is therefore imperative that employers ensure that they always receive a material safety data sheet from a supplier of a substance. The MSDS should be available for reference in the area where the chemicals are being stored or in use. At Safety Storage Systems, we fit waterproof MSDS Holders on the external walls of our chemical stores to ensure that a MSDS is available for reference where the chemicals are being stored.
What do I do if the SDS is misplaced or does not come with the substance?
If you purchase a chemical product that is classified as ‘dangerous to supply’, it should come with a Safety Data Sheet (SDS). Lost or misplaced a Safety Data Sheet? Contact the supplier/manufacturer of the substance for a replacement SDS. In the event that you cannot source the SDS direct from the supplier, rest assured that there are several excellent SDS resources online including MSDS.com, MSDsOnline.com and MSDSXchange.com where you can search for the MSDS for your substance and discover appropriate chemical handling and chemical storage guidelines.
A supplier must supply a safety data sheet if:
They supply a substance classified as dangerous under the Dangerous Substances Directive 67/548/EEC or Dangerous Preparations Directive,1999/45/EC or a substance classified as hazardous under the CLP Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008.
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