The Transition from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
Presented by Brian Williams, Vice President of Compliance, MedTrainer, this webinar covers the global transition from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) to Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and its impact.
Previously aired on November 11, 2015.
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MSDS to SDS: Are you ready for the transition?
What is SDS? The new global standard
SDS (formerly MSDS) are documents that provide users with information on specific dangers of hazardous chemical products and provide guidance on their safe handling, storage and disposal. Chemical manufacturers and medical supply distributors are responsible for evaluating chemical hazards and producing SDS and labels for healthcare providers and others users.
The transition to SDS involves an improved labeling requirement that is aligned with a globalized standard in place for all hazardous chemicals. The new label elements and SDS requirements are designed to improve worker understanding of the hazards associated with the chemicals in their workplace:
Why is the transition happening? SDS requirements and benefits
MSDS has long been a primary tool of OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The HCS was revised by OSHA in 2012 to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). With GHS, hazardous classifications for health and physical hazards must be included on all hazardous chemicals, substances, dilutes, solutions and mixtures. This resulted in substantial changes to the MSDS, including the use of new labeling elements and a standardized format for producers and users. It also resulted in the renaming of material safety data sheets from MSDS to safety data sheet, or SDS.
A major advantage of the new SDS requirements is that you'll now have the information to compare products more easily due to the extensive information that is now required on all labels:
On every SDS (mandatory):
On every SDS (non-mandatory):
When is the transition happening? Key SDS dates to know
December 1, 2015: This was the last day for shipments of chemicals under the existing regulations in which manufacturers and distributors could ship a product that falls under these guidelines with the old MSDS label. You should be on the lookout for products having the correct labels after December 1.
June 1, 2016: Final implementation of SDS throughout the U.S. June 1 is the deadline for employers to have SDS available and comply with all training and product labeling requirements. Employers must make a reasonable effort to comply. There are exceptions to the deadlines for manufacturers, distributors and employers who are making a reasonable effort to comply - but haven't received new SDSs by the deadline.
How should I prepare for the transition? SDS compliance, training, and storage
As manufacturers and distributors comply with these new regulations and update to the SDS format in the coming months, it is your responsibility to make sure that you are attempting to be compliant.
Steps to prepare for the MSDS to SDS transition:
|Learn the Standard/Identify Responsible Staff |
Identify the person(s) responsible in your practice or facility for developing and maintaining an inventory of all hazardous chemicals on premises.
|Prepare and Implement a Written Hazardous Communication Program |
Make sure you develop or revise your Hazardous Communication Program to include:
|Ensure Containers are Labeled with the New SDS |
Update your SDS inventory as new products are added as part of the procurement process. If you are purchasing new chemicals, new prescriptions, or other hazardous chemicals, you want to make sure that you have an SDS when that arrives and that it is input in to the system. You should be prepared to update all workplace labeling. Once you receive new SDS for any given hazardous chemical, you must maintain them. Once they are available from distributors and manufacturers, you must use and maintain them - this is what OSHA will measure.
Maintain Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)
SDS storage options:
It is also important to keep a "simple" back-up (e.g., external drive or single printed binder that is easily accessed in the event of an emergency or power outage).
Inform and Train Employees
If you already have a hazardous communication training program, you may simply have to update it to comply with HazCom 2012 (the hazardous communication standard revised in 2012). In particular, you will need to train your employees about the new label and SDS formats they will be seeing in their work areas. Additional hazard training is not required if you have already trained under the existing hazardous communication requirements.