SDS’ provide necessary information about precautions for protecting against known hazards associated with chemical materials. They often include useful information on chemical, physical and toxicological properties, along with suggestions for storing, transporting and disposing of chemicals. SDS’ are the best general source of information on chemicals that is available.
An SDS should be obtained for each chemical that is used by your department, division, laboratory or shop. Each SDS must be specific to the product that it describes and specific to the manufacturer of the substance.
LSCS OEM recommends that each department or laboratory that uses chemicals, place one person in charge of maintaining the Material Safety Data Sheets. This person is responsible for ensuring that there is an SDS on file for every hazardous substance in the in area. Each SDS needs to be kept in a location where everyone in the division or lab group can access the information. OEM recommends filing SDS’ in a binder labeled SDS and keep it an area where safety and emergency information is kept. While an electronic format is an acceptable way to store SDS’, it is recommended to keep a hard copy as well (in case of a power outage or computer failure).
Web Based Retrieval
The web is a convenient and quick way to retrieve Safety Data Sheets (SDSs). However, one should use caution when retrieving SDSs from the Internet. Some of the SDSs found on the Internet may be of questionable quality or may not be the most current version of the SDS. You should be using the most current MSDS for that chemical and also be sure that it is specific to the manufacturer of the chemical. When in doubt consult with OEM or your campus Facilities Department.
The LSCS Offices of Emergency Management has combined efforts and resources to create a "one-stop" source for chemical safety information. The sites referenced above cannot be used in lieu of manufacturer specific SDS, yet it can be a valuable resource to augment the SDS information.
Manufacturer SDS Retrieval
The manufacturer or distributor of hazardous substances is required to provide an SDS for every substance that they distribute. The manufacturer is often the best source of the SDS, since the information provided is usually the most current and accurate. Manufacturer SDSs are available through the following routes:
Included with Chemical Shipment
If so, retain the most recent copy and file it in your SDS binder.
Requesting an SDS from the Manufacturer
Information about the manufacturer should be on the label of the substance or with the shipping papers.
Call the manufacturer and request an SDS.
Many companies will fax or email the SDS to you as soon as they receive a request.
Many companies also have SDS available on their website.
Contact the campus Facilities Department for assistance, if you do not receive a response from the manufacturer within one week.
OEM assistance is available to help you get started in collecting the SDS’ that you require.
All containers of chemicals at LSCS should be labeled with their contents even if you know what is in the container.
Labels on purchased chemicals must contain:
The identity of the chemical
Appropriate hazard warnings
The name of the company that manufactured or distributed the chemical