SDS for non-hazardous chemicals

SDS for non-hazardous chemicals: Do my suppliers need to supply me with a SDS for a non hazardous chemical if I ask for it?

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Publication Date: 03 November 2016
Asked By: Donna Jensen
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SDS for non-hazardous chemicals

Expert Answer

In brief: Manufacturers/suppliers of chemicals are not required to provide Safety Data Sheets for non-hazardous chemicals.

Manufacturers/suppliers have an obligation under Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulations to provide a SDS when they first supply you with a hazardous chemical as well as upon request1. The requirement for a current SDS for hazardous chemicals is mandatory in Australia in all jurisdictions. They should be readily available and easily accessible to every person who may be exposed to chemicals at the workplace. SDSs must be less than 5 years old. 

General information on Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) can be found on the Safe Work Australia website, see: http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/swa/whs-information/hazardous-chemicals/sds/pages/sds

Whilst it is not necessary for suppliers of chemicals to provide SDSs for non-hazardous chemicals it is useful to have access to the relevant SDS as it provides the necessary information to identify its physical and chemical properties, determine its safe use, incompatibilities, handling, storage and disposal advice. Where possible, Science ASSIST recommends having SDSs of all chemicals stored and used in the school.

Safety Data Sheets for non-hazardous chemicals can usually be obtained by contacting the manufacturer/supplier, downloading from their websites or by accessing the manufacturer’s SDSs through a subscription to a commercial chemical management system such as Chemwatch.

We have provided detailed information regarding Safety Data Sheets in the answer to a previous question, see Safety Data Sheets.

References

1 Safe Work Australia. 2012. Managing risks of hazardous chemicals in the workplace Code of practice. Safe Work Australia Website. http://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/SWA/about/Publications/Documents/697/Managing%20Risks%20of%20Hazardous%20Chemicals2.pdf

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