Hazardous Workplace Chemicals – Hazard Evaluation and Safety Data Sheet and Precautionary Labeling Preparation
|Publication Date:||28 May 2010|
This Standard applies to the preparation of SDSs and precautionary labeling for hazardous chemicals used under occupational conditions. It presents basic information on how to develop and write SDSs and precautionary labels. It also identifies information that must be included to comply with the HCS. Additional information is provided to help comply with state and federal environmental and safety laws and regulations. Elements of this Standard may also be acceptable for international use. This Standard is not intended to address the distribution of SDSs.
This Standard is not intended to provide a rote specification for complying with the HCS or any other government requirements. Safety data sheet and precautionary labeling requirements and definitions are subject to change. It is the responsibility of the SDS and label preparer to be aware of current HCS requirements.
This Standard must be applied in a manner consistent with all statutory and regulatory requirements, including the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS; 29 CFR 1910.1200) and the substance specific standards (29 CFR 1910.1001-1052).
There are use-specific statutory and regulatory requirements for some chemical products that are outside the scope of OSHA HCS and therefore may have different SDS and/or labeling requirements. Some examples include:
• consumer products regulated by the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA),
• medical products regulated by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA),
• pesticides regulated by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA),
• materials in transportation regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) Hazardous Materials Regulations, and
• laboratory chemicals regulated under 29 CFR 1910.1450, the "OSHA Laboratory Standard".
See 29 CFR 1910.1200(b) for information on the scope and application of the HCS.
For example, a company that manufactures aspirin tablets does not need to produce and distribute SDSs to individuals that are taking aspirin to treat pain or some other medical condition. This includes aspirin tablets taken by a worker in the workplace. In this scenario, the aspirin would fall under the jurisdiction of the FDA, not OSHA. However, the company would be required to produce OSHA hazard communication documents (such as an SDS and labels) for workers who may be exposed to aspirin powder during the manufacture of the tablets.
It is not the intent of this Standard to substitute for specific regulatory requirements or to list each and every unique requirement. Where there is a conflict between the applicable regulations and this Standard, the regulations must take precedence over this Standard. References to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in the Standard are to the January 1, 2009 edition of the CFR.
The purpose of this Standard is to provide:
• a common and consistent approach for assessing chemical hazards;
• a framework to communicate useful and understandable information on hazardous workplace chemicals;
• an SDS format that will allow inclusion of information to comply with applicable laws; and
• guidance for the preparation of precautionary labeling.
This Standard is based on two general principles. Foremost, SDSs and precautionary labeling should provide sufficient information for the safe handling of the chemical. The precautionary information should be based on the inherent properties of the chemical and include recommendations on how to avoid potentially hazardous exposures resulting from customary and reasonably foreseeable occupational use, misuse, handling and storage.
Second, the precautionary information should neither overstate nor minimize the hazards or precautions for the chemical. Some chemicals may not be inherently hazardous and do not present a potential for harm in customary or reasonably foreseeable occupational use, misuse, handling and storage. For these chemicals, SDSs and precautionary labeling may not be necessary.