With over ten years of experience in the field, I have learned a thing or two when it comes to Safety Data Sheets. Here are some of them…
1. Make sure that the Safety Data Sheet corresponds to the chemical that has been supplied. I have known of cases where the wrong Safety Data Sheet has been supplied and inadvertently used by some unsuspecting employee.
2. Ensure that your Safety Data Sheet is the most recent version. i.e. check that all data sheets are up to date and are regularly reviewed; classifications may have changed but your control measures may still be based on outdated information!
3. READ the Safety Data Sheet. It is surprising just how many people do not read this vital document.
4. Check that the information makes sense to the people using it. If not contact the supplier for clarification prior to use. Remember, information should be consistent, complete and correct!
5. The Safety Data Sheet should always be accessible to those using the chemical to which it relates. I have known of situations where Safety Data Sheets were locked away in an inaccessible filing cabinet. This was not much use to those doing shift work when the offices were closed.
6. An absence of data relating to health effects does not mean that the chemical is necessarily safe.
If you have any questions regarding safety data sheets do please contact me.