Safety Data Sheet
Under the OSHA Hazard Communications Standard (29CFR 1910.1200), all personnel working with hazardous materials must have access to Safety Data Sheets (SDS), and be trained in the safe handling of the material. SDSs provide necessary, helpful, and useful information on the properties of the hazardous material. All SDS are required to follow the format for the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The goal is to provide a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets.
You should familiarize yourself with those properties before you work with the material. It is vital to your safety to be able to refer to the SDS immediately in the event of an emergency and provide a copy to emergency responders. OSHA has ruled that electronic access to SDSs is an acceptable alternative to maintaining paper files. Each lab, department, or work group has the option to maintain a hard copy SDS binder or file. As a minimum, each work group should maintain an inventory of hazardous material names and suppliers and methods to access the SDS.
There are a number of Internet accessible SDS servers:
Vermont Safety Information Resources is an excellent SDS clearinghouse
A good source of chemical information is at Chemfinder.
General safety and health information is available from NIOSH as International Chemical Safety Cards.
Products Manufacturer and Distributor links such as Sigma Aldrich are also excellent sources for SDS sheets:
Standard search engines such as Google are helpful. Just type in the names of the material of concern followed by SDS.
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