Chemical safety data sheets

5. Chemical safety data sheets
5.1. General
5.1.1. The competent authority, or a body approved or recognised by the
competent authority, should establish criteria for the preparation of chemical safety data
sheets for hazardous chemicals (see paragraph 2.1.8 (d) (criteria for data sheets)).
Essential information should be included (see section 5.3 (Content)). Existing criteria
for preparing chemical safety data sheets (also called “material safety data sheets” or
“safety data sheets” in some countries) established by other competent authorities or
internationally recognised institutions may be followed, where they are consistent with
the provisions of this paragraph. This practice is encouraged where it may promote
uniformity of approach.
5.1.2. Suppliers should ensure that chemical safety data sheets for hazardous
chemicals are prepared, and are provided to employers as well as any revisions thereof
(see 2.4.6 (provision of data sheets)).
5.1.3. Workers and their representatives should have a right to chemical safety
data sheets and to receive information on them in forms or languages they easily
understand. Some of the information required in chemical safety data sheets might be
intended for specialists, and further clarification may be needed from the employer.
5.2. Provision of information
5.2.1. The supplier should provide an employer with essential information about
hazardous chemicals in the form of a chemical safety data sheet. The information
should be given in the official language of the country in which the employer is located
or in another language, agreed to in writing by the employer.
5.2.2. On the basis of the information in the chemical safety data sheet,
employers should check whether any national laws, standards or practices apply to the
chemical supplied, and should ensure compliance. Employers should add to the
information provided by the supplier, information of importance to their enterprise.
5.2.3. Employers should not use any hazardous chemicals until they have
obtained the appropriate information referred to in paragraph 5.3.2 (information in the
data sheets) and have given this information to the workers in a form and language that
they can easily understand. Verbal information may be appropriate in straightforward
cases, but further training will often be required, supported by written instructions on
methods of work, precautionary measures and action to be taken in the event of an
5.2.4. Employers should make chemical safety data sheets for hazardous
chemicals available to workers and their representatives.

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