Schools need to follow the policy in their school or that of their school sector. It is not essential for schools to have Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) printed, however it would be considered best practice. Science ASSIST recommends that schools have a printed copy in the event of a power or network failure. We previously answered a similar question see Safety Data Sheets.
NSW Department of Education schools (DoE) should obtain SDSs either from the supplier/manufacturer of the hazardous substance or through the Department’s ChemWatch Gold FFX subscription. ChemWatch Gold FFX is accessible on the Department’s intranet through the Chemical Safety in Schools (CSIS) package1 (login required). Schools are responsible for making sure that there is a current copy of a GHS compliant SDS for every hazardous substance used on site, and that all staff have ready access to them. For further information and advice, contact the NSW Department of Education’s Asset Management Directorate Compliance and Safety Unit.
Safe Work Australia has produced a fact sheet on hazardous chemicals register. This fact sheet states:
“Providing access to the hazardous chemicals register
The hazardous chemicals register must be readily accessible to all workers involved in the use, storage and handling of the hazardous chemicals and to anyone else who is likely to be affected by the chemical at the workplace. Registers and SDS may be kept electronically (for example on an intranet) provided workers have ready access to a computer. Otherwise, a hard copy should be kept in the location where chemicals are mostly used.”
References and further reading
1NSW Department of Education, Chemical Safety in Schools (CSIS) resource package, NSW DEC website https://education.nsw.gov.au/, login required.
‘Hazardous chemicals register fact sheet’, Safe Work Australia website, https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/hazardous-chemicals-register-fact-sheet (27 April 2012)