WHAT IS AN SDS? A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) provides crucial safety data about a specific product. In addition to identifying potentially hazardous ingredients, the SDS provides cautions about the potential side effects of improper use and describes first-aid or emergency procedures. You should be familiar with the safe handling, storage and disposal of any product you use, and the SDS is an excellent source for this information. Operational guidelines for use of a specific chemical in your shop are provided by an instruction sheet, and not by an SDS. If you have employees, you are required by law to keep an MSDS on file for every product you use in your operation and make it available to any employee. The “Hazard Communication” law (CFR 1910.1200) requires that employers provide employees with information and training about the chemicals they are exposed to in the workplace, and the SDS is an integral part of that training process. This law also contains other regulations to safeguard the health of your employees. It’s your obligation to learn about the requirements of this legislation. As more becomes known about the effects of different chemicals, it’s important to stay informed and take reasonable precautions to protect yourself and everyone who works with you from avoidable hazards. Safety Data Sheets are prepared in accordance with federally established standards for hazard communication. Although the technical language of an SDS may be a little intimidating, it’s an excellent idea to familiarize yourself with the information contained in these documents. FIRST AID & SPILL/DISPOSAL INFORMATION The most crucial information on any SDS is the first-aid, spill and waste disposal information. This section also explains precautions necessary to adequately protect anyone working with the named chemicals.