Employer Responsibilities

Employee speaking on the phone at at the primary work facility.
SDSs may be kept at the primary workplace facility, as long as the employer can ensure quick access to this information.
  • Employers must obtain a SDS from the chemical manufacturer or importer as soon as possible if the SDS is not provided with a shipment that has been labeled as a hazardous chemical.
  • Employers must maintain SDSs in their workplace and must ensure that they are readily accessible during each work shift to employees when they are in their work area(s).
  • Electronic access and other alternatives to maintaining paper copies of the SDS are permitted as long as no barriers to immediate employee access in each workplace are created by such options. Make sure employees know how to quickly access SDS information that is stored on computers or online.
  • Where employees must travel between workplaces during a workshift, i.e., their work is carried out at more than one geographical location, the SDSs may be kept at the primary workplace facility. In this situation, the employer must ensure that employees can immediately obtain the required information in an emergency.
  • Employees who work at more than one site during the work shift must be able to obtain SDS information immediately (within seconds) in an emergency.
  • SDSs may be kept at the primary workplace facility, as long as the employer has a representative available at all times to ensure ready access (within a few minutes) to this information. This is the only situation in which an employer is allowed to transmit hazard information via voice communication. The employer must address in the written hazard communication plan how SDS information will be conveyed to remote worksites.
  • SDSs may be kept in any form, including operating procedures, and may be designed to cover groups of hazardous chemicals in a work area where it may be more appropriate to address the hazards of a process rather than individual hazardous chemicals.