The safety measures embodied in Safety Data Sheets cannot materialize without the understanding of the responsibilities of each supplier, worker, and employer. Hence, it is important to have specific and clear distinction for the roles of each of these SDS agents.
Responsibilities of Suppliers/Manufacturers
• Responsible for developing accurate and specific Safety Data Sheet for every controlled product manufactured, transported, imported, and supplied in workplaces.
• Evaluate the content of the SDS to ensure that it has up-to-date content (not over three years) and available in an understandable languages.
• Ensure that the buyer has his own copy of SDS prior to purchasing or before he receives the chemical products.
• Include confidential information (trade secret) especially for medical practitioners who might use SDS for medical treatment and analysis purposes.
• Make sure that the product is properly and safely sealed before the delivery.
Responsibilities of Employers
• Get the latest SDS copy from the supplier before making a purchase and have the chemical products delivered straight to the workplace.
• Check the time when SDS was developed and ensure that it does not go beyond three years.
• Do necessary inventory of all chemicals in the workplace. It will be burdensome to comply with the SDS requirements without knowing every controlled product available in the workplace.
• Ensure that the SDS copy is disseminated in the workplace for the benefit of workers who are directly exposed to the product and the Occupational Health Committee (OHC). Safety Data Sheets is available electronically so create an easy access for everybody. Employers are highly advised to develop a network for SDS management solutions to easily track what is new, update the latest versions, and spread the information quickly.
• Make sure that everyone who works or in close proximity with the controlled product is properly informed of the content of SDS, educated of the importance of its content and trained on its proper usage (handling, storage and disposal). Dispose all chemicals which are already expired, obsolete, or defective.
• Have the option to customize the information, format, and wordings provided that no information from the original SDS will be omitted.
Responsibilities of Workers/Employees
• Follow the training and instructions of the employer when working in the workplace.
• Understand the safety precautions and measures in SDS.
• Master the arrangement of information in SDS and familiarize themselves with its instructions on proper usage and the application of first-aid procedures.
Safety Data Sheets may be implemented globally, but they are not required to be formally approved. Nevertheless, the Work Health and Safety Regulator of each state and country is responsible for evaluation of SDS contents—whether or not they are in accordance with WHS and GHS regulations. The evaluators can also suggest for modification and revision of information in SDS pertinent to the current health condition of the people and environment.
Manufacturers, employers, and workers alike have to do their tasks to make sure that they can meet the requirements of OSHA by the end of the transition period. After all, the safety of everybody is prioritized in the creation of Safety Data Sheets. So adherence to its principles and latest developments is strongly encouraged - and expected.