MSDS vs. SDS – Are You Ready?
- Anna Kozak
The December 1 deadline to train employees on the implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Chemical Classification (GHS) into the existing Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) has come and gone.
In this New Hazard Communication Standard, employers were mandated to train (the right to know and understand) their workers on the new labeling elements and the standardized Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), which are replacing the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). This requirement applies to all companies that store, use, or handle chemicals.
The SDS is the international form of the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Creating a simpler and more effective way to communicate the hazards of a chemical is the main purpose of the MSDS to SDS conversion. Previously, companies may have had MSDS in multiple formats with information on those formats in varied locations. Employees will now be able to find information on a chemical more readily, with the SDS in a universal format. The new format also lowers the burden for chemical manufactures.
Employers can obtain new Safety Data Sheets from the manufactures they purchase hazardous chemicals from. Although new labels should already be arriving in workplaces, manufactures and distributers have until December 1, 2015 to complete the transition.
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