When the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced they would be adopting the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), many chemical importers, manufacturers and distributors probably went into panic mode. They have to change their GHS documents from material safety data sheets (MSDS) to safety data sheets (SDS) — and it is way more than just ditching the “M.”
Material safety data sheets are the backbone of OSHA’s Right-to-Know provisions. These lengthy documents accompany hazardous chemicals, alerting users of the substances’ dangers and providing guidelines on safe handling, storage and disposal. If you are dealing with such chemicals, you need to maintain an MSDS handy for each substance.
How is the new SDS different from MSDS? For starters, an SDS has 16 sections arranged in a strict order. If you have been using the ANSI Standard 16-section MSDS, consider yourself lucky. The new SDS format is pretty much the same, and that means less revisions for you. Take a look at the SDS sections and their components as enumerated in MSDS Online: (more…)