Clemson University

IV. Safety Data Sheets

The purpose of Safety Data Sheets (SDS) is to provide employees with detailed information of the potential hazards associated with materials used or stored in their work area. A SDS also advises employees on the appropriate way to handle hazardous chemicals, what PPE is required for handling the chemical, how to properly store the chemical, information on handling spill cleanup, etc. Per the revised 2012 HCS, all SDS must have a standardized format organized into the following 16 sections:


Section 1: Identification

Section 2: Hazard(s) Identification

Section 3: Composition/Information on Ingredients

Section 4: First-aid Measures

Section 5: Fire-Fighting Measures

Section 6: Accidental Release Measures

Section 7: Handling and Storage

Section 8: Exposure Controls/Personal Protection

Section 9: Physical and Chemical Properties

Section 10: Stability and Reactivity

Section 11: Toxicological Information

Section 12: Ecological Information

Section 13: Disposal Considerations

Section 14: Transport Information

Section 15: Regulatory Information

Section 16: Other Information, including date of preparation or last revision

A Safety Data Sheet must be kept for every hazardous chemical used and must be readily available to employees at all times. Electronic access and other alternatives to maintaining paper copies of the safety data sheets are permitted as long as no barriers to immediate employee access in each workplace are created by such options.  The area supervisor or manager is responsible for acquiring and updating SDS for all hazardous chemicals found in their work area. Each SDS should be reviewed by all personnel who will be using the chemical before the chemical is used. The Office of Research Safety (ORS) recommends that SDS be kept in a convenient location and filed alphabetically by either chemical name, common name, number, etc. (use a uniform system for all SDSs filed in an area). ORS also recommends that SDSs be reviewed at least every 3 years to ensure that they are updated and the latest revisions are available. For chemicals where there have been revisions made to the SDS, the current SDS should be inserted and the old SDS archived for future reference. To obtain a specific SDS, request it from the manufacturer or distributor (See Attachment A) or copy it from the website of the manufacturer if it is available online. For chemicals purchased locally from retail stores, SDSs should be requested from the retailer. A safety data sheet must be developed and sent with those products that are synthesized at Clemson and distributed outside of the University proper in accordance with OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard. If products contain hazardous chemicals in concentrations greater than one percent (or 0.1% for carcinogens), it is the responsibility of the laboratory synthesizing the product to develop and distribute the SDS.