Keeping your safety data sheets up-to-date

Safety data sheets (SDSs) play a vital role in communicating hazard information about substances and mixtures throughout the supply chain. If this information is inadequate important details may not be correctly conveyed which can lead to potential accidents and incorrect emergency actions being taken, posing risks to people and the environment. 

Having inadequate SDSs is also a business and reputational risk. Customers receiving non-compliant SDSs may require corrections before progressing with a purchase, and audits may identify inadequate SDSs for action. This could result in delays to products being placed on the market which may lead to companies incurring further costs along their supply chain. Compliant SDSs will not only be safer, but also more economically feasible as they reduce the need for corrective actions thereby increasing confidence in those using the SDS. 

NCEC’s SDS authoring and translation service help customers minimise operational risk and supports compliance to the regulations by ensuring your SDSs are accurate and cover all the top-level safety information on your products.

Whether you need a completely outsourced service, help with specific projects or to verify that you are compliant, our experts are ready to help. Please contact us using the form at the side or email us at [email protected].

Regulations impacting your SDSs

All SDS regulations originate from the Global Harmonised System (GHS) from which ‘building blocks’ for hazard classifications are established. GHS aims to improve the health and safety of workers, consumers and the environment by ensuring that information on the hazards of chemicals is consistent around the world. 

However, regional and country specific requirements for SDSs differ worldwide. Each country or region is allowed to choose which of these building blocks is implemented. Because of this, some hazards may not be applicable in one region but permitted in another. For example, the Skin Irritation, Category 3, H316 classification is applicable in China, but not in the EU. 

In the EU, many regulations require SDSs to be updated to maintain their compliance so that they are fit for purpose. The regulations are frequently amended, making checks for updates critical for suppliers. Two of the current major drivers for SDS updates in the EU are: 

Furthermore, additional intricacies can also be relevant – US SDSs, under the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), can withhold Section 3 information as trade secrets, which is not allowed in EU and GB SDSs. Meanwhile, Chinese SDSs require the inclusion of an ‘Emergency Overview’ within Section 2 of a SDS, where further information on the product hazard is required. 

Therefore, your SDS and label will vary based on the region of supply and it is important to be mindful of this when ensuring compliance. NCEC’s SDS authoring and translation team has extensive experience in managing these crucial global differences and close links with regulatory bodies such as the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as well as with various Member State competent authorities. We can help ensure that your SDSs are high quality and compliant with the appropriate regional requirements

Key benefits of using NCEC as your SDS partner

For Europe, NCEC can author EU SDSs against the EU SDS 2020/878 regulatory standard, the main EU REACH regulation, as well as GB SDSs for any products now under GB CLP. In addition to European SDSs we can author SDSs to comply with the majority of regional requirements across the globe. 

The depth and breadth of experience across NCEC’s SDS technical team means we can provide the necessary expertise and resources to meet your timescales, requirements and help ensure that your SDSs are compliant with the appropriate regional requirements. Serving a global customer base, we author high-quality SDSs on behalf of clients worldwide and perform hundreds of translations per year in over 23 languages. 

Our services include:

  • Authoring new SDSs and Extended SDSs (eSDS) and helping you source the information required.
  • Translating SDSs to languages required by country-specific regulations.
  • Updating existing SDSs to comply with new requirements, such as REACH Annex II and ATP updates, and including any new substance/mixture information.
  • Regional SDS authoring, e.g. German WGK (Water hazard class).
  • Supply and transport assistance, including labelling inventory submissions and transport classifications. 
  • SDS training courses tailored to your needs with more basic introductory training or a more in-depth approach detailing areas such as calculating classifications, exposure limits and toxicology.
  • Bespoke Horizon Scanning service that indicates if any of your product’s components have been identified on several European chemical lists where inclusion could mean higher levels of restriction. 
  • SDS compliance checks to provide reassurance to those writing their own SDSs that your documentation is compliant and you are meeting industry standards, while providing support and guidance to your internal team. 

If you require any further assistance regarding SDSs, please contact us using the form at the side or email us at [email protected].