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SDS and TDS – Overview, Purpose, Responsibility

SDS and TDS - Overview, Purpose, Responsibility

Recently Slide has fielded some calls from customers regarding Safety Data Sheets (SDS). Primarily the questions involve why additional relative facts might not be included in SDS. There appears to be some confusion about the difference between SDS and TDS (Technical Data Sheets).

The bottom line is that SDS files must rigidly follow the required GHS regulations for the 16-part format, and extra information that isn’t part of the prescribed and allowable content cannot be included.

Prior to the GHS directives being adopted in 2014, the documents were known as MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets). Employers are required to have hard copies of SDS for any hazardous materials housed or used in their facilities. These crucial protocols must be readily available to employees whenever needed and placed in an easily accessible public area.

For the plastics manufacturing industry, SDS are critical primarily for communicating hazards of the chemicals involved, promoting safety awareness and ensuring proper handling of perilous materials.

Key Purposes

  • Help guarantee secure management procedures including PPE recommenda­tions, disposal and storage guidelines.
  • Compliance with safety regulations as mandated by organizations such as OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS).
  • Valuable information to assist employers in making informed decisions regarding selecting the best alternatives available to implement controls and minimize risk.

Primary Differentiation – SDS and TDS

An SDS prioritizes safety, providing details on product hazards, storage, transportation and disposal. They are standard­ized to a specific structure for consistent presentation. Think of the SDS as the warning label.

A TDS focuses on product technical properties and function, including performance specs, physical characteristics, applica­tions and compatibility. The format of a TDS is more flexible and is determined by the manufacturer, with no legal requirements. Think of the TDS as the owner’s manual.

At Slide, we strive to remain fully compliant in keeping all our SDS files accurate and updated regularly in accordance with proper formatting and established regulations. Every applicable SDS is shown on its respective product page, along with a complete listing that is sortable by country and language. Technical Data Sheets (TDS) are also displayed on product pages and on the TDS landing page.

Peruse a detailed breakdown of the SDS file format from UC San Diego.

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