MSDS vs. SDS: What Is the Difference?

MSDS vs. SDS: What Is the Difference?

In a single year, there are around 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries across the US.

Because this is such a high number, it’s critical that your manufacturing facility does all that it can to lessen the potential for hazard-related harm.

This isn’t just a good idea- it’s a legal requirement that facilities that contain dangerous chemicals use SDSs. Read on to learn more about this concept and to learn about the MSDS vs SDS distinction.

What Is an SDS?

A safety data sheet (SDS) conveys the possible dangers of chemicals that employees in a facility may encounter while performing their jobs. The information includes chemical properties, potential hazards of chemicals, protective measures to fight against these hazards, and precautions for handling chemicals.

SDS documents can be written in multiple languages, which is beneficial for companies with non-native English speakers. However, the regulations require an English copy to be on hand at all times.

An SDS has sixteen parts. 11 of them are mandatory. The mandatory sections include:

  1. Identification (of the chemical)
  2. Hazard(s) identification (related to the chemical)
  3. Composition/information on ingredients
  4. First-aid measures (for when someone comes into contact)
  5. Fire-fighting measures
  6. Accidental release measures
  7. Handling and storage
  8. Exposure controls and personal protection
  9. Physical and chemical properties
  10. Stability and recovery
  11. Toxicological information

The 5 non-mandatory sections include:

  1. Ecological information
  2. Disposal considerations
  3. Transport information
  4. Regulatory information
  5. Date of preparation and last SDS revision

MSDS vs SDS: Are They Any Different?

A material safety data sheet (MSDS) is essentially the same thing as an SDS. They aim to convey exactly the same information. However, the term MSDS has been used longer than SDS has, so people sometimes use the term MSDS to refer to an SDS.

There is a reason that this shift took place despite both documents conveying the same message. MSDS documents were not in a single standard format, but the GHS standard has since created a specific format that organizations need to follow when documenting chemical safety hazards.

Get Started

Now that you know the difference between MSDS vs SDS, it’s time to get started with managing your information.

Schedule a demo of our SDS management services to make paperwork easier for your organization. We also will answer any lingering questions that you have about SDSs, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

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