Safety Data Sheets
A Safety Data Sheet (SDS), previously called a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), is a document that provides information on the properties of hazardous chemicals and how they affect health and safety in the workplace. For example an SDS includes information on:
- the identity of the chemical
- health and physicochemical hazards
- safe handling and storage procedures
- emergency procedures
- disposal considerations
The SDS should always be referred to when assessing risks in the workplace.
Duties under the WHS Regulations
The Work Health and Safety Regulations require the manufacturer or importer of a hazardous chemical to prepare an SDS for the chemical. Additionally, a supplier must provide the manufacturer or supplier’s current SDS for the hazardous chemical on first supply to a workplace and upon request.
Code of Practice for Preparation of SDS
Safe Work Australia’s Code of Practice for the Preparation of Safety Data Sheets for Hazardous Chemicals provides detailed guidance on how to prepare a SDS for workplace chemicals. This code of practice should be used where the chemical has been classified according to the GHS.
Manufacturers and importers of chemicals are able to continue to use the existing MSDS arrangements for workplace hazardous substances and dangerous goods up until 31 December 2016. This applies for chemicals which have been classified according to the Approved Criteria for Classifying Hazardous Substances and the ADG Code.
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