This analysis describes the requirements of safety data sheets (SDSs) under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) hazard communication standard—or HazCom. The SDS is at the heart of federal HazCom, and any employer with employees exposed or potentially exposed to hazardous chemicals must comply. The SDS is a detailed, written description of a hazardous chemical. It is the primary source of information about hazardous chemicals for employers and their workers, and it contains comprehensive technical information about a particular chemical and explains the hazards, precautions, and remedies to human exposure.
Employees who are exposed or potentially exposed to hazardous chemicals must be trained how to access SDSs and interpret them. SDSs must be readily available to employees in their work areas. SDSs are not substitutes to chemical labeling or worker training.