During hazard communication and chemical safety training, the practice of reviewing the SDS for a chemical prior to initiating use of that chemical is discussed. Every person working in the lab knows that they should review SDSs for the chemicals being utilized, but when was the last time that you actually took the time to sit down and read an entire SDS in detail?
29 CFR 1910.1200 Appendix D stipulates the minimum information required to be contained on a SDS, and specifies each section number and heading. Hazard identification, first-aid measures, proper handling and storage requirements, appropriate personal protective equipment, exposure limits, and toxicological information are all covered on a SDS. Information on the likely routes of exposure, symptoms of exposure, and immediate and delayed effects from short-term and long-term exposure are reported. All of this information should be known by each individual working with a particular chemical.
More detailed information is required on SDSs since the amendments to the Hazard Communication Standard in 2012. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer, distributor, or importer to provide a SDS for each chemical. It is the responsibility of the employer to make a SDS for each chemical in the workplace readily available to all employees. And it is the responsibility of each individual worker to review the SDSs made available. So be sure to take advantage of this important information and review SDSs for the chemicals utilized in your laboratory.