COSHH Made Easy - Part 2 Safety Data Sheets

The Safety Data Sheet

In Health & Safety, COSHH

The Safety Data Sheet

Safety Data Sheet - 16 PointsThe Safety Data Sheet is provided to all customers and provides detailed information on the ingredients contained within the product. It also identifies the potential hazards associated with the product and provides information on the first aid requirements in the event of accident involving the product. By law it must contain detailed information in 16 distinct categories. Although new legislation is planned currently most manufacturers are using the old system.

1. Identification of Substance Section 1 gives details of the company issuing the data sheet and often other information such as emergency call-out information.

2. Composition/ Data on Components The second section identifies the material and gives relevant registry numbers.

3. Hazard Identification The third section summarises the major hazards associated with use of the chemical. The ‘R’ and ‘S’ codes in this section are followed by explanatory text. You will find a list of these in the Jangro Guide to COSHH Awareness.

4. First Aid Measures Depending on the nature of the chemical involved, the fourth section will give details of the first aid measures required should there be an accident.

5. Fire Fighting Measures Section 5 covers fire fighting and protective equipment.

6. Accidental Release Measures Section 6 outlines the procedures to be followed in case of accidental release of the chemical, including methods to be used to clean up spills. Note that these measures are unlikely to be sufficiently detailed if the chemical is particularly hazardous, and local procedures should be drawn up to supplement what is given in the Safety Data Sheet.

7. Handling and Storage Section 7 is self explanatory.This is an important section and should be noted with care.

8. Exposure Controls and Personal Protection Section 8 provides information on regulatory standards of exposure, in other words, the maximum permitted concentration of the material in the environment to which you are allowed to be exposed. It also usually contains information on suitable types of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

9. Physical and Chemical Properties Section 9 is self-explanatory

10. Stability and Reactivity This section is also largely self-explanatory.

11.Toxicological Information Section 11 outlines the risks to which you may be exposed when using the chemical. It is therefore a section of crucial importance. This particular example, along with the majority of cleaning chemicals you will meet does not present any acute toxicological problems. Where there is such a potential problem, a section will follow which gives, often in some detail, an indication of the health effects which may be attributed to this chemical. In such an event this section should be read particularly carefully, since the range of health effects may be broad, and may include carcinogenic or sensitiser effects.

12. Ecological Information Section 12 is largely self explanatory.

13. Disposal Considerations Section 13 which deals with disposal, is often not sufficiently detailed for you to be able to undertake disposal yourself. If you need to dispose of the chemical after use, ensure that you know how to do this safely.

14.Transport Information Section 14 gives transport information, generally as a list of codes indicating the dangers associated with the chemical (flammable, radioactive, very toxic etc.) and the type of transport which may be used. There are usually UN hazard codes given in this section.

15. Regulatory Information Section 15 list the hazard codes which indicate the principle hazards associated with the chemical and the precautions which should be taken when working with it.

16.Other Information Finally, a section of additional information such as the name of the person/company preparing the data sheets, a list of references from which data has been drawn, disclaimers etc.


In the third part of this Blog I will look in detail at Risk Assessments and your legal responsibilities under COSHH. Jangro has produced a Video on Health & Safety which covers many aspects of COSHH please see below.


Click the link below for our free COSHH PowerPoint download:

Download my  COSHH PowerPoint


Related Articles:

Read The Cleaner's Guide To COSHH with a Free PowerPoint Download

COSHH Made Easy - Part 1

COSHH Made Easy - Part 3 The Risk Assessment

COSHH Rish Assessment - What You Need To Know





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