SDS Management (Safety Data Sheet)

At Chemwatch, we are world leaders with our state-of-the-art, customer-built SDS Chemical Management System (CMS).

We have over 60 million Vendor SDS in our database, which is updated daily with the latest data sheets. Having a high volume of SDS allows you to create a purpose-built library of SDS to suit your organisation’s needs.

From Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) to Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

In 2012, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) branch aligned with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) to rename—and standardise—the MSDS process. The GHS system is used across the European Union, so this change was enacted for consistency across the region.

In addition to dropping the M—to now have it named Safety Data Sheets (SDS)—the formatting of the reports were also regulated. Prior to 2012, regulations regarding the order and contents of a MSDS differed across jurisdictions. The introduction of SDS came with layout regulations, including a standardised, user-friendly 16-section format.

Companies had three years to complete the change from MSDS to SDS.

What is an SDS?

Safety Data Sheets provide essential information on hazardous chemicals, including the potential risks associated with them, and how to use them safely. At Chemwatch, we manage your chemical inventory, creating SDS where needed, and ensuring that all SDS information is available to the pertinent staff members. Chemwatch's SDS are fully GHS complaint worldwide.

What are the SDS format requirements?

An SDS is set up with a 16-section format, which aims to help the user of the chemical mitigate potential issues that may arise. These are the 16 sections that are covered:

  1. Product identification
  2. Hazard identification
  3. Composition of/information on ingredients
  4. First aid measures
  5. Fire-fighting measures
  6. Accidental release measures
  7. Handling and storage
  8. Exposure controls/personal protection
  9. Physical and chemical properties
  10. Stability and reactivity 
  11. Toxicological information
  12. Ecological information
  13. Disposal considerations
  14. Transport information
  15. Regulatory information
  16. Other information

Why do I need SDS Management?

Our SDS Chemical Management System (CMS) makes your life easy and your chemicals safe, by authoring and organising your SDS, ensuring they’re accurate and up-to-date. When you receive them, all the work has been done for you.

What if I don’t have an SDS management system in place?

SDS—and SDS management—are imperative for workplace safety. If you don’t have a SDS management system in place, you run the risk that your SDS will be non-existent, or out-of-date.

In Australia, it is a breach of Workplace Health and Safety not to have SDS for any hazardous chemicals or materials that you are using. Similarly, in the United States it is a requirement, set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), that workplaces must have SDSs readily available and accessible for employees working with hazardous materials.

How does this management solution work?

Our state-of-the-art SDS management solution is three-fold:

Webster and Nettie

First up is Webster! He is our custom-built AI who spends his time zooming across the web with his trusty jetpack to find your SDSs. He can scan more than 150,000 URLs daily—more than 80 million yearly! He works with Nettie, another AI, tracking changes from the original SDS to any updates that may have been made. You will be provided with line-by-line comparison reports between old and new documents, with changes being highlighted in red. Nettie also reports any regulatory changes for substances found on an SDS. This proprietary software is available to visit your SDS up to 4x yearly.

Up to 60 key data points can be extracted from the updated SDS and made available to you. They can be recorded across separate tables and can easily be used to generate:

  • Risk Assessments
  • Secondary Labels
  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
  • Toxicity—and Eco Tox—Reports

SDS and Registration Team

The second part of our system is made up of the SDS and Registrations Team. They are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of our ever-growing database. This team is in charge of contacting chemical manufacturers and suppliers to source the most accurate and up-to-date information; once they have collected the latest SDS information, they add it to the database. Once the team has established initial contact with your organisation, they will send you monthly reports about your SDS. Furthermore, if a supplier fails to provide a response regarding a chemical or an SDS, they will create a proforma request in your name.


The third integral member of our team are the chemists who work behind the scenes. They collectively author over 4000 new SDS per month, which are then peer-reviewed and added to our database. They are able to create Vendor SDS for your company’s products, and are also responsible for the creation of our advanced Chemwatch Gold SDS system, which details handy reviews of common chemicals. Our three-pronged approach has been developed over a number of years, and after extensive testing, is now part of the gold standard that we offer at Chemwatch. Our combination of “brute-force tactics” and Artificial Intelligence—running 24/7, controlled using state-of-the-art engines—ensures that our SDS management system operates at the highest standard possible.

We offer a number of customisable cloud-based packages for SDS, including GoldFFX, Backpack, AuthorITe, and SmartSuite, our SDS mobile app.

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