As many of you reading this will know, my previous Toxic Blog #6 raised the question ‘should we rely on supplier safety data sheets (SDS) information without verifying it prior to use?’
However, considering the recent Annex II updates which impact European SDS, I have another perhaps more important question… have Safety Data Sheets lost their way?
More and more information – for better for worse
A concern I have is that with ever-increasing regulatory requirements, there is a risk that key ‘practical’ information, such as the identification of substance/mixture hazards, appropriate safe handling/use & emergency measures may become buried in a mass of regulatory data. Furthermore, this could make the SDS even more complex to read and interpret.
Losing sight of its purpose
Perhaps my biggest concern though is that the SDS ‘mutating’ into a document which is trying to cover everything but in doing so, is losing sight of its actual purpose.
That is, ‘SDS are key documents in the safe supply, handling and use of chemicals. They should help to ensure that those who use chemicals in the workplace do so safely without risk of harm to users or the environment’ (Health and Safety Executive (HSE)).
I guess as with everything only time will tell…