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Topic: Chemical safety

guide to material safety data sheets
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Guide to material safety data sheets

Guide to safety data sheets

Safety data sheets provide vital information on how to use chemicals safely. However, if you need help in understanding how to get the most from this information, our easy-to-use guide can help.

Material safety data sheets

In order to devise safe systems of working with hazardous substances, you need to understand exactly what you’re dealing with. This is where safety data sheets (SDS) come in handy. These are provided by your supplier and should arrive with the chemical. They’re divided into 16 sections and set out information on different aspects of using a chemical safely. However, they can be intimidating to those without a degree in chemistry! For this reason, a Guide to Safety Data Sheets may be useful to help you get the most out of them. It’s set out in table format and outlines the purpose of each section on the SDS.

The key sections

Some sections on the SDS are more useful than others, so consider looking at sections 6 (spill procedures), 7 (handling and storage), 8 (exposure controls), 10 (stability and reactivity) and 15 (regulatory information) first. Reading these sections will also give you an idea of whether you will need to carry out a full COSHH assessment.


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