What is a safety data sheet?

A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is a document
containing information about chemicals and their safe use. It is an important part of
chemical safety information and is intended to provide information on the safe
handling, storage, use and disposal of a product.
A safety data sheet is an important tool for workers who handle chemicals, but also for
companies and consumers who want to know how to use products safely. SDSs are a
legal requirement in many countries and help ensure safety in the handling and use of
chemical products

Why is safety data sheet important?

A safety data sheet is an essential safety document that informs users of the potential
risks and hazards associated with handling a chemical. It also provides guidance on
the safe storage, use and disposal of chemicals. By understanding and following the
instructions in safety data sheets, we can reduce the risks associated with the use of
chemical products.

When must a safety data sheet be prepared?

According to the EU REACH Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006, a safety data sheet must
be prepared for substances and compounds that meet certain criteria:

Substances: If you manufacture or import a substance as it is or in a compound in
quantities of one tonne or more per year into the EU, you normally have to register the
substance with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). As part of the registration,
you must submit an SDS.

Compounds: If you produce compounds for the market and a compound meets the
classification criteria for hazardous substances according to CLP Regulation (EC) No
1272/2008 and is intended for the general public or professional users.

In general, the responsibility for preparing a safety data sheet lies with the
manufacturer or importer of the substance or compound.

What information does an SDS contain?

A safety data sheet contains a range of information that is essential for safe handling.
Requirements vary geographically: in Europe we have the CLP Regulation, which is
legislation on the classification, labelling, packaging, listing and reporting of chemicals
to the ECHA (European Chemicals Agency). CLP specifies that the safety data sheet
must contain the following information:

Identification data for the substance/compound and

Product identifier

Product identifier
• Essential identified uses and contraindications of the substance or compound
• Supplier information

Hazard information
• Classification of the substance or compound
• Labelling: hazard symbols, hazard statements and safety statements
• Other potential hazards

Composition/information on constituents
• Labelling: hazard symbols, hazard statements and safety statements
• Other potential hazards

First aid measures
• Measures to be taken itemised into different situations of exposure
• Fire prevention measures
• Fire extinguishing substances
• Specific hazards arising from the substance or compound
• Instructions for fire prevention

Measures in the event of accidental release:
• Personal precautions, protective equipment and emergency measures
• Methods and materials to contain and clean up spills

Handling and storage:
• Measures required for safe handling
• Conditions for safe storage

Exposure prevention and personal protective equipment:
• Control parameters
• Exposure prevention: personal protective equipment and environmental exposure control

Physical and chemical properties:
• Basic information on the physical and chemical properties of the substance or compound

Stability and reactivity:
• Reactivity
• Chemical stability
• Possible hazardous reactions
• Conditions to avoid
• Incompatible materials
• Hazardous degradation products

Toxicity information:
• Toxicity
• Stability and degradability
• Bioaccumulation potential
• Mobility in soil

Transport information:
• UN number and appropriate shipping name
• Transport hazard classes
• Packaging group
• Specific precautions for the user

Legislative information:
• Safety, health and environmental regulations applying to the product,

Other information:
• Legislation applicable to safety data sheets
• Other information

Government Decree on Chemical Agents at Work

Section 5 Safety data sheets and a list of chemicals used in the workplace

The employer shall keep an updated list of the chemicals, itemised by their trade names, which are used in the workplace. The list must reveal the classification data of each chemical and which of the chemicals have available safety data sheets.

The safety data sheets and the list of the chemicals used in the workplace shall be accessible for the employees in the workplace. The safety data sheets and the list or copies of those shall be provided to the occupational safety and health representative of the workers at the workplace in an appropriate manner.

Safety data sheets in electronic format

With the Kiwa Impact Chemical Register, you can keep your safety data sheets up to date and electronically accessible to everyone.

The quick reference guides for all chemicals, which summarise the key points of the safety data sheet, are always up to date because we maintain them for you.

Easy accessibility and usability! The Kiwa Impact Chemical Register can be accessed on a device of your choice (mobile and desktop) and the necessary information can also be easily accessed directly via links or QR codes.

Book a demo with us or leave us a message!