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Regulatory change in SA is upon us specifically in the form of the United Nations GHS guidelines promulgated in the Regulation for Hazardous Chemical Agents, 2021. These regulatory changes will require revision in both content and format of current Safety Data Sheets, as well as product labels for consumer and industrial products containing chemicals.
The Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is used for documenting critical information about hazardous chemicals in the workplace.
In South Africa requirements for what information is on the Safety Data Sheets and when data sheets are needed is regulated by the Occupational Health and Safety Act 85 of 1993, Regulation for Hazardous Chemical Agents published March 2021.Chemicals, when not dealt with and handled correctly, can be lethal. The role of the SDS is to ensure that chemicals and/or chemical products are handled appropriately and that the risks and measures necessary to mitigate the chance of incidents are taken and known.
In order to qualify as a Safety Data Sheet, an SDS must include all 16 of the required sections. The sections are:Identification - Identifies the chemical product (product) that the SDS is for, which includes such information as the product name, manufacturer, distributer, recommended uses, restrictions for use, and more. This section should also include the emergency phone number, and address of the manufacturer or distributer. Hazard Identification - This is a list of all the hazards associated with the product. In this section is a list of any hazard label requirements. Composition - Here is a list of all the hazardous ingredients found in the chemical product. First Aid Measures - Detailed information about any first aid that should be given, and when. For example, instructions for what to do if the skin is exposed to the product. Also in this section are symptoms or effects (including acute, delayed, etc.) from exposure to the product. Fire-Fighting Measures - Information about the impact to the product if it catches on fire, how to extinguish a fire, and more. Accidental Release Measures - Instructions for what to do should there be an accidental release of the product. How to contain it, how to clean it up, what protective equipment is needed, etc. Handling/Storage - List of instructions for safe handling and storage of the product. Any precautions that must be taken are listed here too. Exposure Control - Here is information from the Regulation for Hazardous Chemical Agents, 2021. Occupational Exposure limits and Biological Exposure Indices, Annexure 2, Tables 2, 3 & 4. As well as engineering controls, recommendations on what type of personal protective equipment should be used when working with the product. Physical/Chemical Properties - Information about the characteristics of the product. Stability and Reactivity Information - A list of all chemical stability information as well as any possible hazardous reactions that could occur. Toxicological Information - Notes for how someone could be exposed to this product, symptoms of exposure, etc. Ecological Information - Information about what impact this product can have on the environment, especially if it gets into a water supply. Disposal Information - Proper instructions for how to safely dispose of the product, including any special restrictions or requirements. Transport Considerations - Instructions for how to safely transport the product. Regulatory Information - All information related to the regulatory requirements of the product. Other Information - This section is for other information that may be needed that does not fit into the other sections.
It is clear that the new SDS’s are very structured, which makes them much more useful for people reading them.
Let Riskchem assist you with compiling your companies Safety Data Sheets our SDS’s are NOT software generated but compiled using data from reliable sources and expert judgement. We offer the following:
GHS information posters.