Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)

Safety Data Sheets & Labeling

State and Federal rules and standards require employers to provide their employees with written information on hazardous substances that they routinely use in the performance of their jobs. For many years, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) have been one source of that information. In 2012, State and Federal hazard communication standards were aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).

The GHS provides a single set of criteria for classifying chemicals according to their health and physical hazards and specifies hazard communication elements for labeling and safety data sheets. Under the GHS, safety data sheets (SDS) with one standardized format will replace material safety data sheets (MSDS). In addition, all container labels will be standardized to include signal words, pictograms, and hazard and precautionary statements.

Phasing in of the GHS has begun and training of employees on the new label elements and safety data sheet (SDS) format was to be completed by December 1, 2013. Manufacturers and distributors are to provide SDSs and GHS compliant container labels for their products by June 1, 2015.

The major changes employees will see as the GHS is implemented are:

  • Safety Data Sheets: Will have a specified 16-section format. Select the following link to view and download an OSHA fact sheet describing the 16 sections of the SDS:

OSHA Safety Data Sheets “Quick Card™”

  • Labels: Chemical product container labels will include a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements will also be provided. Select the following link to view and download a fact sheet describing the label and pictograms:

GHS Labels and Pictograms

BSU SDS/MSDSs can be found by selecting “BSU MSDS Database”