In 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) required that employers were required to update hazard communication programs as necessary and provide employee training for physical or health hazards.

A key component of a company’s written hazard communication program are Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), which are written or printed materials around hazardous chemicals. The program requires that a chemical manufacturer, distributor, or importer provide Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) to users to communication information on these hazards.

These SDSs were formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets or MSDSs. The information contained in the SDS is nearly identical to the MSDS. However, SDSs are required to be presented in a more consistent user-friendly, 16-section format. This uniform layout of these documents provides guidance to help workers who handle hazardous chemicals to become familiar with the format and understand the contents of the SDS.

Some manufacturers/suppliers voluntarily send updated SDS to their customers as soon as the new SDS has been revised. However, they aren’t required to do that. In fact, they only must provide updated SDSs with the next order shipped following an update and upon request.

Understanding that SDSs are not automatically sent out just because they have been updated is important to know. That means you may often have to ask the supplier or manufacturer to provide it.

OSHA states that it is permissible to provide electronic access to SDSs provided the employee knows how to access the SDSs and they are not password-protected. Premier provides electronic access to all of our SDSs at any time. To locate an XtraBond SDS, visit: