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  • Writer's pictureDale Allen

GHS Safety Data Sheets Explained: Section 1

Updated: Sep 30, 2022

Section 1: Identification of the Substance or Mixture and of the Company or Undertaking

Section 1 of a GHS safety data sheet must contain the identity of the product, its intended uses and the contact details for the manufacturer or supplier who marketed the product.

1.1. Product Identifier

Before you allow anyone to use the substance or mixture you should check that the product name provided in subsection 1.1 of the safety data sheet matches - exactly - the name provided on the label on the product's container.

If the name doesn't match - or you have any other doubts about the product (i.e. the product colour doesn't match the physical characteristics detailed in Section 9) then you must immediately contact the manufacturer or supplier to clarify the details before you allow anything to be done with the substance(s).

For pure substances:

The product name provided on the SDS will be chemical name(s) of the hazardous substance (e.g. Orthophosphoric acid). Substances which are more complex will have more chemicals, which may begin to cause confusion.

In such cases, the manufacturer or supplier will provide other identifiers - such as acronyms or synonyms (abbreviations and alternative names, respectively).

For mixtures:

The product name provided on the SDS will be the trade name (e.g. Phosphoric acid).

If the product is a pure substance then the manufacturer or supplier must also include at least an identification number in subsection 1.1. They may provide the CAS number, the EC number or the Index number.

1.2. Relevant Identified Uses of the Chemical and Restrictions on Use

Each hazardous substance supplied to you must have its intended and restricted uses - as far as is known - provided in subsection 1.2.

When you initially receive the product and its safety data sheet you should check to ensure that your intended use of it matches those provided in this subsection or the exposure scenarios provided in an extended safety data sheet.

If you do not find your intended use listed in this subsection or the exposure scenarios of an extended SDS, then you should either:

  • Modify your processes so that they conform to one of the intended uses listed.

  • Ask your supplier to add the missing intended use so it is included in this subsection or the exposure scenarios.

  • Perform your chemical safety assessment and submit your chemical safety report to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) within 6 months of initially receiving the extended safety data sheet.

1.3. Details of the Supplier of the Safety Data Sheet

Subsection 1.3 is where the manufacturer or supplier will provide their contact details.

Your supplier should provide:

  • The company name.

  • Their address.

  • Their telephone number.

  • The email for the competent person responsible for the authoring of the safety data sheet.

It must be the company who directly supplied you with the product and safety data sheet. This is a legal requirement.

It is the responsibility of your supplier to ensure the information contained in their safety data sheet is accurate. They must also answer any questions you may have and provide updates to the information if there are significant changes.

1.4. Emergency Phone Number

Each safety data sheet must be provided with emergency contact numbers you can call if you were to need immediate advice in the event of an emergency involving the substance.

This emergency number will often be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, this is not a legal requirement and the company providing the emergency advice line may only open the line during their normal working hours. Either way, this information must be provided in subsection 1.4 alongside the emergency phone number.

Confused by the many pieces of information provided in those safety data sheets? Join the International Association for Chemical Safety's completely free health and safety academy now and take the Safety Data Sheet Awareness Certification™.

This article was originally published by the team over at Sevron Ltd and has been shared here with full permissions.

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