Safety Data Sheets – Know the Ins and Outs

safety data sheet sds

Safety data sheets provide information on chemical products that help users of those chemicals to make a risk assessment. They describe the hazards the chemical presents, and give information on handling, storage and emergency measures in case of accident.

By law (REACHChemical classification) suppliers of chemicals must provide an up to date SDS if a substance is dangerous for supply.

Do you need to provide a SDS?

You need to provide a SDS if:

You supply:

(a)  substance or a mixture that is classified as hazardous under the CLP Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008; or

(b)  a substance that is persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT), or very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB) as defined in Annex XIII of REACH; or

(c)  a substance that is included in the European Chemicals Agency’s ‘Candidate List’ of substances of very high concern (SVHC).

You are a supplier and your customer requests a SDS for a mixture that is not classified as hazardous under the CLP Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008, but contains either:

(a)  a substance posing human health or environmental hazards in an individual concentration of ≥ 1 % by weight for mixtures that are solid or liquids (i.e., non-gaseous mixtures) or ≥ 0.2 % by volume for gaseous mixtures; or

(b)  a substance that is carcinogenic category 2 or toxic to reproduction category 1A, 1B and 2; skin sensitiser category 1; respiratory sensitiser category 1; or has effects on or via lactation or is persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) or very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB) in an individual concentration of ≥ 0.1 % by weight for mixtures that are solid or liquids (i.e., non-gaseous mixtures); or

(c)  a substance on the ‘Candidate List’ of substances of very high concern (for reasons other than those listed above), in an individual concentration of ≥ 0.1 % by weight for non-gaseous mixtures; or

(d)  a substance for which there are Europe-wide workplace exposure limits. If you are a supplier to EU countries other than the UK, then you may need to supply a SDS for substances or mixtures that are not classified as hazardous where they have relevant national workplace exposure limit values.

You are a supplier of a product listed as a ‘special case’ in paragraph 1.3 of Annex 1 of the CLP Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 for which there are labelling derogations; e.g., gas containers intended for propane, butane or liquefied petroleum gas.

You do NOT need to provide a SDS:

If the substances/mixtures are supplied in the UK and not classified as hazardous or considered PBT, vPvB or of equivalent concern (e.g., endocrine disruptors).

For certain products intended for the final user, e.g. medicinal products or cosmetics.

If you offer or sell dangerous substances or mixtures to the general public and you provide sufficient information to enable users to take the necessary measures as regards safety and the protection of human health and the environment. However, a downstream user or distributor can ask you to provide one.

What information needs to be provided on a SDS?

The safety data sheet should be dated, and should contain the following headings:

Identification of the substance/mixture and of the company/undertaking;

Hazards identification;

Composition/information on ingredients;

First-aid measures;

Fire-fighting measures;

Accidental release measures;

Handling and storage;

Exposure controls/personal protection;

Physical and chemical properties;

Stability and reactivity;

Toxicological information;

Ecological information;

Disposal considerations;

Transport information;

Regulatory information;

Other information.

Guidance on how to compile a SDS is detailed in Annex II of REACH.

How and when should a SDS be provided?

A SDS should be provided to the recipient free-of-charge, on paper or electronically, e.g. by postal delivery, fax or email.

A system that merely requires customers to obtain a SDS from a company’s website or from a catalogue of SDS is not considered appropriate.

A SDS should be provided either before or at the time of first delivery of the substance or mixture.

Where a customer re-orders substances or mixtures, then the supplier does not need to re-supply the SDS, unless the sheet’s contents have changed.

The SDS should be supplied in an official language of the Member State(s) where the substance or mixture is placed on the market.

SDS Creation & Management Software

safety data sheet SDS

Hibiscus have designed the Prometheus SDS software package to simplify and streamline the Safety Data Sheet process, saving you time and money; Prometheus is a simple, flexible and affordable solution to the problem of creating, storing and distributing your own SDSs.

  • Can be supplied with SDS phrases in a comprehensive set of European, and other, languages
  • Can print your data sheets directly, or write them to PDF files, in your preferred fonts and layouts
  • Allows you to create and maintain data sheets that are unique for different territories
  • Uses templates to customise the appearance of SDSs (including embedded logos) to suit different clients and destinations
  • Saves you time and effort by storing vital information in a database from where it can be quickly and easily retrieved
  • Can pass the relevant labelling information directly into HibSoft Label Enterprise
  • Despatch your data sheets as PDF files directly to your email outbox for delivery to your customers

Contact:   Tel: 0113 242 4272