What does SDS stand for?

The acronym, SDS, stands for Safety Data Sheet. A safety data sheet is a document that details information about the safety and health impacting aspects of various substances and products. They are sometimes also called material safety data sheets (MSDS) or product safety data sheets (PSDS). Businesses that produce, ship, use, or otherwise interact with potentially hazardous substances need to have safety data sheets on hand to reference should there be a spill or other event.

What is an a SDS?SDS with hazard pictograms

An SDS contains information about the hazards of working with a specific material in an occupational environment. There is one page for each substance or chemical that is used, which means that a company may have to have multiple different safety data sheets on site. Each SDS will contain sixteen sections. Each section is used to provide different types of information about the product in question. For example, different categories of an SDS details information about a chemical's hazard classification, signal words, hazard statements, pictograms, and much more. There will also be information about the composition or ingredients in the chemical.

These sheets are generally going to be used by emergency responders, safety managers, and others who may need to respond to threats or some type of event. Companies don’t need to create their own safety data sheets. Instead, they can be downloaded online or otherwise accessed since each SDS will be the same for a given chemical no matter where it is used.

Where are SDS’s Stored?

Safety data sheets should be stored in one central location within a facility. They do not need to be kept near where the chemicals or solutions are actually used. Having them in one location will make them easier to find and access by those who need them in the event of an emergency. It is required, however, that all employees have access to the SDS’s so they can review them when they would like. This is required by OSHA, which wants to make sure that all workers are aware of any potential dangers in the workplace environment.

Additional SDS facts:

  • SDS stands for Safety Data Sheet, a document that lists information relating to occupational safety and health for the use of various substances and products. SDSs are a widely used system for cataloguing information on chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_data_sheet
  • The SDS format is internationally standardized by the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), which specifies 16 sections that cover the properties, hazards, handling, and emergency measures of the chemical. Source: https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/OSHA3514.pdf
  • The SDS is not intended for use by the general consumer, but rather for workers who handle hazardous chemicals in an occupational setting. The SDS also provides information on the proper labelling of the chemical, which may include hazard symbols and warning statements. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safety_data_sheet
  • The SDS is required by the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which mandates that chemical manufacturers, distributors, or importers provide SDSs for each hazardous chemical to downstream users. The HCS also requires that employers train their workers on how to read and use the SDSs. Source: https://www.hazchem.com/resources/what-does-sds-stand-for/
  • The SDS is updated whenever new information becomes available on the chemical, such as new hazards, exposure limits, or protective measures. The SDS must also state the date of preparation or last revision, and the name and contact information of the responsible party. Source: https://ehs.princeton.edu/safety-data-sheets



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