SDS New Standard

The Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals has already been incorporated into federal OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard and adopted identically in Washington State.   Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) are starting to be phased out and replaced by newly required Safety Data Sheets (SDSs).  Although content details on labels and SDSs are affected by the GHS, many of the current requirements are not changing. For example, requirements to distribute SDSs, label workplace containers, and train employees will remain the same.

What’s New

  • Labels on hazardous chemicals will include:
  • Pictograms which visually identify the main hazards
  • Signal words: “warning” (less serious risk) or “danger” (more serious risk)
  • Hazard statements (what is the hazard?)
  • Precautionary statements (what you should you do to protect yourself from the hazard)
  • Safety Data Sheets will now consist of 16 sections in a specified sequence.
  • SDS serve the same purpose as MSDS
  • SDS will be in a uniform format and easier to read

Who What By
Employers Train employees on,the safety data sheet (SDS) format and new label elements. 1-Jun-14
Chemical,manufacturers and importers Comply with new SDS,and label requirements. HCS will require pictograms on labels 1-Jun-15
Distributors Not to ship unless,container has GHS (Global Harmonization System) label. 1-Dec-15
Employers Update labels on,"workplace" containers and train employees on newly identified,hazards. Update the Hazard Communication Program, as needed. 1-Jun-16

Presenter tips

  • Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
  • Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
  • Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.

Questions for Discussion

  • Why do you think they came out with this new standard?
  • How will it benefit the jobsite and your safety?