The OSHA Hazard Communication Standard requires chemical manufacturers, distributors or importers to provide Material Safety Data Sheets or MSDSs to communicate the hazards of hazardous chemical products. The new GHS rule includes modifications to MSDSs, which are now called Safety Data Sheets or SDSs. As of June 1, 2015, MSDSs will have to be replaced by new SDSs. And by June 1, 2016, MSDSs will have to be phased out completely. In addition, all workers exposed to hazardous chemicals must receive safety information and training, including on new SDS requirements and how to read SDSs, by Dec. 1, 2013—yes, that’s 2 years before full implementation of the SDS requirements.
The following Quickcard, which comes from OSHA, outlines the format, section numbers, headings and information required to be listed in the SDS. Distribute the Quickcard to workers as part of their initial GHS training to educate them about SDS requirements. Instruct workers to keep the Quickcard in their wallet and post it in or near your MSDS/SDS binder so workers accessing SDSs can use it as an aid in reading the SDS and absorbing the important information it contains.