Understanding Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
The Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is made to provide workers and emergency personnel alike with the correct procedures for the use and handling of a specific substance. It includes information, such as physical data (flash point, melting point, boiling point, etc.), health effects, reactivity, disposal, spill procedures, and the rest.
The SDS is particularly useful during spills or other accidents occur, but it is key to preventing exposure and accidents in the workplace, and must to be reviewed before developing a new process or working with a new material. This is, in fact, how employers usually meet their compulsory employee information and training obligation as per the HazCom Standard.
In America and other countries using the GHS system, the SDS follows a standardized format and meticulously defined risk and safety phrases, along with pictograms to impart their information. Typically, these are several pages long. To learn more about safety data sheets, you can visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confined_space#Description.
The SDS benefits:
> Employees exposed to occupational hazards;
> Employers who know none about proper methods for handling substances;
> Emergency response teams such as hazardous material crews, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians, and ER personnel, among others.
SDS's are not intended for consumers. An SDS shows the hazards of working with the substance as an occupational necessity. A paint SDS, for instance, is not as pertinent to an individual exposed to paint once per year, as it is to another individual who has a 40-hour exposure per week.
Given that, the U.S. National Library of Medicine's Household Products Database is a great resource for consumers who wish to educate themselves on the dangers of consumer products. For example, one can use it to choose an environmentally safe ant killer, know who manufacturers a certain product, or determine the chemicals in your shampoo. Check out SDS app for more details.
How an SDS Looks Like
Prior to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OHSA) implementation of its Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) version, the SDS could come in any format. The compulsory 16-part SDS format came with the GHS changes. Also, today's SDS requires more information than the previous one.
Where the SDS Can Be Obtained
You can get the SDS from plenty of places, like:
> Your workplace or laboratory, where all hazardous chemicals you have ordered should come with a collection of SDS's;
> Universities as well as businesses (call your Environmental or Occupational Health Office or science librarian; there are organizations that hire commercial services to get SDS copies online, faxed or printed out); and
> The supplier of the substance (contact the manufacturer's customer service department). Know more about the managing confined spaces.