Image of Safety Data Sheets - SDS

Products Impacted by Safety Data Sheets

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are essential to product stewardship, occupational safety, and health in manufacturing. Understanding and implementing SDS guidelines is crucial to management’s role in the manufacturing industry.

In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into how SDS impacts product management in the manufacturing industry, using real-world examples and practical tips.


Understanding Safety Data Sheets

Safety Data Sheets have been integral to the manufacturing industry for decades. Initially known as MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets), these documents have undergone changes in their guidelines and requirements under the supervision of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). The transition from MSDS to SDS was gradual and also varied across different regions. In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) aligned its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) with the GHS in 2012. This alignment included the adoption of the SDS format.

Mandated for hazardous products or chemicals, SDS are critical documents that provide information about the properties of each substance. This includes physical, chemical, health hazard, and precautionary information.

But here’s something interesting: Many manufacturers, even those dealing with non-hazardous products, maintain SDS for liability purposes.


Impact of SDS on Manufacturing Products

Let’s take a look at Zebra Skimmers Coolant Odor Control Tablets as an example. As the only product in our product line that requires an SDS, it offers a unique insight into the influence of SDS on a product’s lifecycle. From manufacturing and storage to handling and disposal, each stage is influenced by the guidelines established in the SDS.

But even for non-hazardous products, an SDS plays a significant role. It helps individuals make informed decisions about these products’ safe handling, storage, and also disposal. This helps to ensure a safer work environment and mitigate potential liability.


SDS Components and Their Effects on Product Management

An SDS comprises 16 sections, each offering crucial data about the product.

  1. Identification: This section identifies the product or chemical by its name. It includes the manufacturer’s details, recommended uses, and emergency contact information.
  2. Hazard(s) Identification: It includes the classification of the substance or mixture according to the Globally Harmonized System (GHS).
  3. Composition/Information on Ingredients: Information about the ingredients or chemicals in the product, including impurities and stabilizing additives.
  4. First-Aid Measures: Necessary first-aid procedures for different types of exposure (i.e., inhalation, skin and eye contact, ingestion).
  5. Fire-Fighting Measures: Information on suitable extinguishing techniques and equipment.
  6. Accidental Release Measures: Recommendations on appropriate response to spills, leaks, or releases. It also includes containment and cleanup practices.
  7. Handling and Storage: Guidance on the safe handling and storage practices for the chemical is provided.
  8. Exposure Controls/Personal Protection: Specifies the exposure limits, engineering controls, and personal protective measure.
  9. Physical and Chemical Properties: Includes data on various physical and chemical properties of the substance or mixture. Examples are boiling point, melting point, flash point, and reactivity.
  10. Stability and Reactivity: Provides details on the stability of the chemical and the possibility of hazardous reactions or instability under certain conditions.
  11. Toxicological Information: Includes information on the potential health effects of exposure to the chemical.
  12. Ecological Information: Provides data on the potential impact of the chemical substance on the environment if it were to be released.
  13. Disposal Considerations: Offers guidance on proper disposal practices, recycling or reclamation of the chemical or its container.
  14. Transport Information: Provides guidance on classification information for shipping and transporting of hazardous chemical(s) by road, air, rail, or sea.
  15. Regulatory Information: Provides information on safety, health, and environmental regulations specific for the product but not indicated anywhere else in the SDS.
  16. Other Information: Any other information that might be relevant.


Navigating and Implementing SDS for Effective Product Management

Each section offers details that can influence how a product is handled in a manufacturing facility. For instance, the ‘Handling and Storage’ section can directly impact the layout of a product’s storage area, while the ‘Accidental Release Measures’ can inform the facility’s emergency response plan.

Management goes beyond merely comprehending the SDS and encompasses effectively implementing the guidelines. It entails training your staff, establishing procedures that align with SDS recommendations, and continually monitoring compliance with these guidelines.

Communication is vital: Ensure all staff understands an SDS, its purpose, and how to understand and use the information provided. Regular training sessions and safety drills can help enforce these guidelines and ensure a safe, compliant working environment.


SDS Management Tools

Managing SDS has become significantly more manageable in this digital age, thanks to numerous software and tools available. These tools help organize and store SDS for easy access and provide features like automatic updates when a new version of an SDS is available.

In a manufacturing environment, the importance of Safety Data Sheets in relation to product management cannot be excessively emphasized. They guide companies in maintaining a safe working environment, ensuring product safety, and protecting their businesses from liability. By understanding and correctly implementing SDS guidelines, we can make informed decisions that help us with safety and productivity in our facilities.


Additional Resources

For a detailed understanding of the Hazard Communication Standards, visit OSHA’s official guidelines here. This comprehensive resource provides complete details on SDS and other related standards. You may also find additional training resources and best practices for SDS management in a manufacturing environment on their website at


In conclusion, while the management and application of Safety Data Sheets may seem daunting initially, they provide an invaluable tool for making sure safety and also compliance within your facility. With the proper understanding, diligent implementation, and efficient use of available resources and tools, a plant manager can significantly enhance the safety and efficiency of a manufacturing environment.

Remember, safety is not just about compliance – it’s about creating a workplace where every team member can perform at their best without unnecessary risks. So embrace the SDS, understand its nuances, and leverage it for safer, more productive operations in your manufacturing facility.





About Zebra Skimmers:

Our mission has always been simple. It is to provide the metal working industry with the oil skimmers and metalworking fluid management systems they need to complete jobs quickly and efficiently. Innovative and affordable solutions have gained us many accolades. Our continued growth is due in no small part to our excellent customer service… Not to mention our satisfaction guarantees and the performance of our tools.

Among our diverse options of oil skimmers and metal working fluid management systems, you can expect to find: