New Requirements for Safety Data Sheets in the Workplace

Lab Safety

Changes to the Safety Notification in the Workplace

A Safety Data Sheet (SDS), formerly called a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), Is a detailed, standardized, internationally accepted informational document. The Safety Data Sheet is used for cataloging information and procedures for the safe handling and workplace use of chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures. It describes the physical and chemical properties of the product and communicates occupational information on the hazards of chemicals and the potential risks to human health and the environment.

EU Standards for SDS Symbols

The SDS uses EU standard symbols for hazards. Customers/users must be provided with an SDS that is prepared by the manufacturer, importer, or other supplier of the product. The MSDS is an older type of data sheet that should be replaced by an SDS. Employers are required to have an SDS for each hazardous chemical that they have on-site. The information is used to train employees on the hazards to which they are exposed.

The Global Harmonization System (GHS)

The United Nations has produced the Global Harmonization System (GHS) which represents an international pathway to hazard communication. It provides criteria for classifying hazardous chemicals and a standard means of communicating the hazards using container labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS).

OSHA, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration of the U.S. Bureau of Labor has adopted most but not all of the provisions of the GHS in its hazard communications, HazCom standard. Appendix D to 29 CFR 1910.1200 spells out the required (and suggested) information to include in the SDS and the format. Required are sections 1-11 and 16, with sections 12-15 not required but may be included.

SDS New Requirements

Starting January 1 2021 new SDS requirements are in effect in the EU based on amendments to REACH Annex II, requiring specific information needed for nanoforms, disruptors, and unique formula identifiers (UFI). The changes/additions are noted below in red. Noncompliant SDS may continue to be used until December 31, 2022. OSHA may or may not choose to adopt these changes/additions.

In accordance with Article 2 of Regulation (EU), 2020/878, safety data sheets compiled in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006, as amended by Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/830, can continue to be used until 31 December 2022. Currently, the following 16 section format is used in the United States minus the red notes.

Substance Identification

SECTION 1: Identification of the substance/-mixture and of the company/undertaking.

Include consideration for nanoforms and a place for the (UFI) or Unique Formula Identifier.

1.1 Product identifier
1.2 Relevant identified uses of the substance or mixture and the uses advised against
1.3 Details of the supplier of the safety data sheet
1.4 Emergency telephone number

Plant Safety

Hazard Identification

SECTION 2: Hazard’s identification
2.1 Classification of the substance or mixture
2.2 Label elements
2.3 Information on other hazards Include information on adverse health effects caused by endocrine-disrupting properties

Composition Information

SECTION 3: Composition/information
3.1 Substances
3.2 Mixtures

First Aid

SECTION 4: First aid measures
4.1 Description of first aid measures
4.2 Most important symptoms and effects, both acute and delayed
4.3 Indication of any immediate medical attention and special treatment

Firefighting Measures

SECTION 5: Firefighting measures
5.1 Extinguishing media
5.2 Special hazards arising from the substance or mixture
5.3 Advice for firefighters

Accidental Release Measures

SECTION 6: Accidental release measure
6.1 Personal precautions, protective equipment, and emergency procedures
6.2 Environmental precautions
6.3 Methods and material for containment and cleaning up
6.4 reference to other sections

Handling and Storage

SECTION 7: Handling and storage
7.1 Precautions for safe handling
7.2 Conditions for safe storage, including any incompatibilities
7.3 Specific end use(s)

Exposure Control / Personal Protection

SECTION 8: Exposure control/personal protection
8.1 Control parameters
8.2 Exposure controls

Physical and Chemical Properties

SECTION 9: Physical and chemical properties
9.1 Information on basic physical and chemical properties
9.2 Other information

Stability and Reactivity

SECTION 10: Stability and reactivity
10.1 Reactivity
10.2 Chemical stability
10.3 Possibility of hazardous reactions
10.4 Conditions to avoid
10.5 Incompatible materials
10.6 Hazardous decomposition products

Toxicological Information

SECTION 11: Toxicological information
11.1 Information on toxicological effects

11.2 Information on other hazards (add)

Ecological Information

SECTION 12: Ecological information
12.1 Toxicity
12.2 Persistence and degradability
12.3 Bio-accumulative potential
12.4 Mobility in soil
12.5 results of PBT and vPvB assessment
12.6 Other adverse effects

(change to 12.7)
12.6 Endocrine disrupting properties (add)

Disposal Considerations

SECTION 13: Disposal considerations
13.1 Waste treatment methods

Transport Information

SECTION 14: Transport information
14.1 UN number
14.2 UN proper shipping name
14.3 Transport hazard class(es)
14.4 Packing group
14.5 Environmental hazards
14.6 Special precautions to user
14.7 Transport in bulk according to Annex II of Marpol and the IBC Code (delete)

14.7 Maritime transport in bulk according to IMO instruments (add)

Regulatory Information

SECTION 15: Regulatory information
15.1 Safety, health and environmental regulations/legislation specific for the substance or mixture.

Must add the conditions of any provisions or restrictions or authorizations

Other SDS Information

SECTION 16: Other information
16.2 Date of the latest revision of the SDS

Inform yourself and others about the new SDS information and where to locate it in your facility.  It’s good practice for both lab and facilities to ensure the safety of all.

Corks’ business is the development and formulation of Aqueous, energy-curing Ultraviolet (UV), and Electron Beam (EB) specialty coatings and adhesives.


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Elmer W. Griese Jr, having accumulated 35+ years of knowledge working in the coatings and printing ink industries has now authored the Cork Tech Talk News, newsletter since 1992 producing 112 issues. He remains dedicated to educating and illuminating technological progress that offers the potential to advance coating technology and its applications.

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