What is Classified as a Hazardous Chemical and for which Chemicals do we Need Safety Data Sheets (SDS)?
A hazardous chemical is defined as any chemical that is classified as hazardous under the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The HCS requires that employers provide information to workers about the hazardous chemicals they may be exposed to in the workplace through the use of Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) and other forms of communication.
Hazardous chemicals are classified based on the physical and health hazards they present. Physical hazards include chemicals that are explosive, flammable, oxidizing, etc. Health hazards include chemicals that are toxic, corrosive, sensitizing, carcinogenic, etc.
All chemicals that are classified as hazardous under the HCS must have an SDS. The SDS is a document that provides information about the chemical's properties, hazards, and precautions that should be taken when handling and using the chemical. It also provides information about the chemical's first aid measures, firefighting measures, and spill response procedures.
The HCS requires that employers provide SDSs for all hazardous chemicals in the workplace and that they are easily accessible to workers. Workers have the right to request and review SDSs for the hazardous chemicals they may be exposed to in the workplace.