Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are a useful resource regarding the hazards associated with a chemical and precautions for safe storage and use of the chemical or work area. Each laboratory where chemicals are located is required to have access to an SDS library that contains SDS for each chemical in that location.
Chemical manufacturers must provide SDS for each chemical they produce. Many manufacturers provide SDS online and may not include paper copies with each chemical delivery. Maintaining an SDS Library in each laboratory provides laboratory personnel the information necessary to safely manage chemicals, identify potential hazards, and design laboratory projects with consideration to chemical hazards. The SDS Library also serves to inform laboratory and emergency personnel of the correct actions to take in the event of an emergency and how to effectively respond to a chemical spill. It is the responsibility of the PI/LS to provide and maintain the SDS Library in their laboratory and update it regularly to reflect the inventory of the laboratory.
Printed SDS Libraries
EHS provides binders to laboratories for printed SDS libraries. SDS should be filed alphabetically and stored in a conspicuous location such as wall bins provided by EHS.
Electronic SDS Libraries
Laboratories may elect to maintain an electronic SDS library or use a computer database for larger inventories of 100 chemicals or more to reduce storage, facilitate more expedient searches, and provide a more sustainable alternative to paper, provided that:
- The electronic SDS Library is maintained on one or more rechargeable devices; tablets, laptops, etc., dedicated for SDS inventory management in the laboratory where the chemicals are stored and used.
- The device(s) remain charged for use in the event of a power outage, be accessible to all personnel in the laboratory at all times, and be conspicuously labeled “SDS Library”.
- All laboratory personnel are trained in how to look up and retrieve SDS.
If the preceding provisions cannot be met, a printed SDS Library must be available so that SDS are available in the event of a power outage.
For more information about Safety Data Sheets and the information they provide review OSHA Quick Card Hazard Communication Safety Data Sheets.