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Human Resources Department

Occupational Safety & Health Unit

Chemical Safety Data Sheets

Photo of a  Yellow Safety Data Sheet Binder

SDSs used to be known as MSDSs or Material Safety Data Sheets. With the recent introduction of a globally harmonized system (GHS) for the classification of chemicals, MSDSs became known as SDSs. In addition to the name change, the format of the SDS has been standardized internationally. Most countries follow the standard using predetermined hazard statements and precautionary descriptions.

Employees who work with chemicals or compounds are entitled to know and understand any associated chemical hazards associated with the materials, and as such, they must have Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) available to them and know how to access them.
Employers are required to provide workers with information and training on any hazardous chemicals used in the workplace.

The SDS consists of sixteen (16) sections. It provides users with a description of the chemical they are working with, its uses, properties, hazards, and safe handling precautions including disposal. The sixteen sections are listed below:

  • Section 1  Chemical identification
  • Section 2  Hazard(s) identification
  • Section 3  Composition - information on ingredients
  • Section 4  First-aid measures
  • Section 5  Fire-fighting measures
  • Section 6  Accidental release measures
  • Section 7  Handling and storage
  • Section 8  Exposure controls - personal protection
  • Section 9  Physical and chemical properties
  • Section 10  Stability and reactivity
  • Section 11  Toxicological information
  • Section 12  Ecological information
  • Section 13  Disposal considerations
  • Section 14  Transport information
  • Section 15  Regulatory information
  • Section 16  Other information

To get more information on the applicability of Safety Data Sheets for a specific County operation please contact the corresponding departmental Safety Coordinator.

For further information on specific regulatory guidelines please refer to the link(s) below.

Hazard Communication


OSHA SDS Quick Card