Tuesday, October 22, 2013

MSDS or SDS in December 2013?

Many employers are anticipating the mandatory, OSHA regulated change from the old Material Safety Data Sheet format to the new required GHS-aligned Safety Data Sheet format within the next few months.  This is not a very accurate portrayal of the transition ahead.  Employers are required to ensure their employees are trained regarding the new Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), including the new format of the Safety Data Sheet (SDS).  However, the date by which all chemical manufacturers are to have all sheets switched to the new format is not until June 1, 2015.  In the mean time, managing MSDS/SDS is going to be a nightmare.  Each employer will possibly have a mixture of the old format with the new format.  Not only will employers need to handle the 2 different formats, but as manufacturers continue to transition (deadline June 1, 2015), they are releasing sheets that are neither the old format or the new format.  They commonly will have a mixture of data from the old Material Safety Data Sheet, along with elements in the Safety Data Sheet (GHS-aligned) format.

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