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Safety Data Sheet Questions Answered


What are safety data sheets?

Formerly known as a material safety data sheet, SDS is information collected by manufacturers, distributors, and importers of hazardous materials. SDS helps identify hazards, safety measures, and protection against hazards within the workplace. Importers are responsible for handling, storing, and transporting hazardous material.


Where to keep safety data sheets?

Many employers used to store their safety data sheets in binders or folders on their desks. Today, where should safety data sheets be kept? SDS can be kept either electronically or as paper copies but all employees should have access to SDS during work hours.


Are safety data sheets required by law?

OHSA requires SDS for hazardous materials, products, and chemicals to be reported. Why are safety data sheets required? SDSs are necessary to communicate hazards throughout the workplace and OSHA to ensure workplace safety.


When should safety data sheets be updated?

Safety data sheets should be updated within three months of obtaining new information on a product, material, or chemical that is hazardous.


Can safety data sheets be kept on a computer?

Safety data sheets can be kept in any form. Can safety data sheets be electronic? Safety data sheets can be kept in paper copies or electronically as long as they are accessible to employees during work hours.

Do safety data sheets have to be in English?

Safety data sheets completed in the U.S. and U.K. must be in English. While SDS in Norway must be completed in Norwegian, whereas in Canada it must be completed in English or French. Every country has its own set of regulations for which native languages are used to complete safety data sheets.


When safety data sheets are a safety hazard?

Safety data sheets can become a safety hazard when there are shortcomings in availability, incomplete coverage of safety data, and occasional inaccuracies. Many errors have been due to ignoring previous warnings on hazardous materials or accidents.


Are safety data sheets confidential?

The public has a right to safety data sheet information if requested. No confidentiality is to be imposed on the information included within the safety data sheet.


Are safety data sheets required at all locations?

Employers who possess hazardous chemicals or materials on workplace grounds must fill out SDS. They are also required to make sure their employees are aware of the hazards and are trained properly to work in that environment.


Who is allowed to read safety data sheets?

Employees are allowed to read safety data sheets while they are working, as SDS should be accessible to all employees during work hours. Employees should be provided with a hard copy or can access it electronically.


Can safety data sheets only be obtained by employers?

If an employer doesn’t have safety data sheets, they can contact the manufacturer to obtain them. Otherwise, it is the employer’s responsibility to obtain, distribute, and educate employees.


Can safety data sheets be kept forever?

Manufacturers or importers can review and update their safety data sheets at least every three years. If a chemical or hazardous material is no longer in use, the safety data sheets that include them should be archived and saved for 30 years.


Can safety data sheets be written in any language?

Safety data sheets should be written in a language that is native to the country. In the U.S. and U.K., it is a requirement to use English when filling out your SDS. In Norway, SDS must be completed in Norwegian, whereas in Canada it can be completed in English or French. Every country has its own set of regulations for which native languages are used to complete safety data sheets.


Do safety data sheets expire?

When obtaining new information on a hazardous chemical or material, within three months the SDS should be updated. The expiration of SDS depends on new information, so yes.


Do safety data sheets include first-aid measures?

Section 4 of the SDS will include first-aid measures including information on the physical, health, and environmental hazards as well as protective measures or safety precautions to help prevent accidents.


How do safety data sheets vary?

Safety data sheets can vary in information, one manufacturer may decide to include GHS Hazard codes, while another manufacturer may choose to exclude them. Some data sheets may also vary in format as some manufacturers provide the information that is required by the law, while others may go above and beyond and include additional information.


What do safety data sheets include?

There are four types of different information that are required to be included in SDS. 1)Product Information, 2)Hazardous Ingredients, 3)Physical data, 4)Fire or explosion data.

What do safety data sheets contain? Safety data sheets have data collected by a manufacturer or importer on hazardous chemicals or materials used in workplaces.

What do safety data sheets tell you? Safety data sheets provide information on hazardous products or chemicals to help those within the workplace assess and reduce risk.


How are safety data sheets organized?

OSHA recommends alphabetizing your safety data sheets although some may choose to categorize them by product or chemical.


How are safety data sheets accessed?

Safety data sheets can be accessed through a Google Search or obtained by the manufacturer. SDS service websites can also be visited on the Environmental Health & Safety website.


 

Simplify the way you manage your SDSs with SMS360

Let SMS360 administer your SDS library! Safety data sheets are accessible online and kept in one spot, making it easy to update safety information. You will have access to a quick search, instant access, easy export, and user-friendly features. SMS offers access to unlimited users, quick and easy inventory reporting, a digital backup library, access & store SDS versions and updates from prior years, and request SDS when new products are added to your inventory.

Key features to completing SDS with SMS360:

  • Search SDS database

  • Open/view/print SDSs & MSDSs

  • Save SDSs & MSDSs to secure eBinder

  • Upload local SDS/MSDS files to eBinder

  • Request missing SDSs/MSDSs

  • Update new versions

  • Assign & manage products to multi-level locations

  • Batch print SDSs/MSDSsLibrary backup (PC, CD, DVD, Flash Drive, etc.)

  • Multi-lingual interface (Spanish/French)

  • Employee access to SDS database

  • Company library



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