About Safety Data Sheets

The Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is a technical document listing the identity of a substance or mixture; the CLP/ GHS hazards of the product, and any CLP EUH statements on the label; information on the physical and chemical properties of the product; information on the physical, health and environmental hazards of the product; and advice on disposal, what to do in an emergency (fire fighting instructions, first aid etc).

The person or company who places a product on the market is responsible for producing the SDS (and also the product’s classification and labelling).  Although liability initially rests with the manufacturer or importer, it is passed to the company who resells it.

SDSs must be compiled by a “competent person”, which is not defined in REACH explicitly, but see https://ttenvironmenta.wpengine.com/clp-knowledgebase/sds-competent-person/ for details.

Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) are required for specific chemical products for all Industrial and some Professional users, but not for consumers.  The reasons for this are:

  • consumers should not be exposed to very hazardous chemicals where an SDS might be required
  • consumers should be able to get the information they need from the label, they should not be expected to read through a technical document to get hold of this
  • consumers do not carry out a risk assessment before they use chemicals, and therefore do not need the information held in the SDS

SDSs are required to be provided to a purchaser on or before the date of first supply (which includes the provision of samples).  They must be kept up to date, and when they have been changed, the supplier must provide an updated SDS to everyone who has received a product within the last 12 months.

You are also obliged to keep all of the information required for an SDS, which includes all of the classification information for CLP, and other technical data, for 10 years after the date of last supply of the product.  (This includes the information for previous versions of the SDS).  There is no specific requirement about whether the information should be held electronically, on paper, or in a mixed system, and the main thing is that you can access the information if you reissue the SDS, or are inspected by the Competent Authority (the HSE in the UK).

It is possible to generate SDSs in-house, but many companies choose to use software packages, and a list of SDS authoring companies is given here: Companies for SDS Software 27-11-2017 .

Leave A Comment

Access to the CLP Knowledgebase is restricted to people who have completed our CLP training course in person or online (coming soon), or other competent professionals. For more information on our next live training course, or to request access to the CLP Knowledgebase, please email us.
Access the CLP Knowledgebase
Sign InSign In