A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is a detailed document written by the chemical manufacturer for a specific chemical. Manufacturers, distributors, or importers must provide SDSs for each hazardous chemical to downstream users. SDSs contain information about the chemical including chemical and manufacturer identification, hazards and GHS classification, composition, safe handling practices, emergency control measures, physical and chemical properties, stability and reactivity information, toxicological information, exposure control information such as PPE, and the date of SDS preparation or last revision. The information contained in the SDS must be in English (although SDS are available in other languages).
Employers must have SDSs for all hazardous chemicals on site and must ensure that the SDSs are readily accessible to employees. SDSs may be kept in a binder, on flash drives, on shared media (i.e. Box) or other formats as long as the employees have immediate access to the information without leaving their work area when needed. A back-up must be available for rapid access to the SDSs in the case of a power outage or other emergency.
SDSs must be included in each initial shipment and with the first shipment after a SDS is updated. If a SDS is not provided, the employer must contact the manufacturer or distributor and request one. Many manufacturers update their SDSs periodically, so when ordering chemicals, check to see if a new SDS version is available from the distributor.