How to Write Your Own SDS Sheets

September 2, 2015 Dave Weber No Comments



Writing Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) can be daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before.  I was responsible for writing the SDS sheets (and MSDSs) for three companies I worked for.  

Below are a few tips I’d like to share that will help you to write SDSs for your employer –

  • SDSs for USA customers should follow the required 16-part OSHA format
  • SDSs for Canadian customers should meet the Canadian  WHMIS  standard
  • List all hazardous components that constitute  > 1% of the product
  • List all carcinogens that constitute  > .1% of the product
  • A best practice is to list 100% of the ingredients, regardless if they are hazardous or not
  • List and describe all reasonably expected hazards
  • SDSs are highly technical and should be written by (or at least reviewed and approved by) either a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH) or a toxicologist (PhD & certified)
  • Revise and update the SDS at least every three years (WHMIS requirement)
  • Provide a SDS emergency hot-line number that is maned 24/7 by a qualified person
  • Forward your completed SDSs toChemtrec” 
  • Write a one-page SDS notification cover letter that will accompany each SDS that is sent to a customer
  • Send out an SDS with the first order received for that product from a customer
  • Send out a revised/updated SDS with the first order after the revision
  • Re-send SDSs annually to each customer with their first order of that product in the new year
  • To review a sample SDS click  here 


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