Have you ever felt overwhelmed by all the information contained in a safety data sheet (SDS)? We know all too well how many people feel, especially when some of the SDS’s are as long as 24 pages! You might be wondering why you need to read and understand all the information contained within. We explain why this is the case with (help from Safe Work Australia) and have broken down each of the sections contained in the SDS so you know why this is the case.
So let’s start by identifying – What is a Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
An SDS is a document that provides detailed information about hazardous chemicals, including:
An SDS should be viewed as a key resource within the workplace. Any persons conducting business within the workplace will need to be familiar with the SDS’s contents before working with a hazardous chemical. It is also important to keep an up-to-date copy of the SDS at all times in the workplace.
So what information will you find contained within an SDS?
An SDS contains 16 separate headings which complies with WHS Regulations.
Contains the product identifier or tradename, contact details of the manufacturer or importer responsible for supplying the chemical. Telephone number to contact in case of an emergency.
|Section 2||Hazard(s) Identification
Gives details on the potential health and physical hazards of the chemical. This information can be used to help assess the risks to the health and safety of workers, other people and the environment.
|Section 3||Composition and Information on Ingredients
If the chemical is a mixture, this section should provide the information on the identity and proportions of hazardous ingredients in the mixture.
|Section 4||First Aid Measures
Describes the necessary first aid measures to be taken in case of an accident.
|Section 5||Fire Fighting Measures
Gives specific information on fighting a fire involving the chemical, including the most suitable extinguishing media and other protective measures.
|Section 6||Accidental Release Measures
Describes what actions need to be taken if there is an accidental release or spill of the chemical to minimise harm to people, property and the environment.
|Section 7||Handling and Storage
Contains details on how to handle and store the chemical safely to minimise the potential risks to people, property and the environment.
|Section 8||Exposure Controls and Personal Protection
Provide information on control measures that can be used to reduce exposure, e.g. engineering controls, information on exposure standards and guidance on required personal protective equipment (PPE).
|Section 9||Physical and Chemical Properties
Provides detailed information on the physical and chemical properties of the chemical, e.g. appearance, odour, pH, flash point, melting/boiling point or any other relevant physical data.
|Section 10||Stability and Reactivity
Contains details of any hazardous reactions that may occur if the chemical is used under certain conditions and details of any incompatible materials.
|Section 11||Toxicological Information
Provides detailed information on the toxicological properties of the chemical. This section is used primarily by medical professionals, toxicologists and WHS professionals.
|Section 12||Ecological Information
Provides detailed information on the ecological hazard properties of the chemical.
|Section 13||Disposal Considerations
Explains how the chemical should be disposed of correctly, recycled or reclaimed.
|Section 14||Transport Information
Contains basic classification information like UN number and transport hazard classes and packing groups that relate to the transport of the chemical by road, rail, sea or air.
|Section 15||Regulatory Information
Provides advice on other international or national regulatory information specific to the chemical, such as poison scheduling or any other applicable Australian prohibition, notification or licensing requirements.
|Section 16||Any Other Relevant Information
Provides any other information relevant to the preparation of the SDS, including the date of its preparation, a key or legend to abbreviations acronyms and reference used.
For more information visit www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au