Safety Data Sheets

Safety Data Sheets, formerly called MSDS's, are required by OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard and Laboratory Standard, and is aligned with the Globally Harmonized System. Each Department using hazardous chemicals maintains a hard copy of SDS ‘s for each chemical they use. The following procedure will allow access to any Safety Data Sheet (SDS), either from the SJU library or EHRS website. You will also be able to add SDS's not included in the SJU library into a database for easy reference. A hard copy should be retained by the department as an alternate for employee use. If working in a laboratory, it is permissible to only maintain electronic SDSs if certain procedures are followed, training conducted and there is an appropriate written SOP in place. (See information below on electronic access requirements and link to the Template SOP for Obtaining Laboratory SDSs)

The Environmental Health and Radiation Safety Department is responsible for establishing and monitoring the University's SDS program. Each department must obtain and maintain an SDS for each chemical/hazardous material in their work area(s). The Departmental Supervisor/Manager is responsible for ensuring that SDS's are maintained in the assigned areas in his/her department.

SDS's shall be readily accessible to all employees in/near their work area(s) during each work shift. If an SDS is not available, immediately contact the manufacturer/distributor or go to their website and print one out or request a copy. However, contact the EHRS Department if assistance is needed.

The on-line SDS Program, VelocityEHS SDS Library (Formerly called MSDSonline) may be linked at and also from the Employee page in the Nest.

You may want to save these instructions before proceeding:

  1. Click on the SDS link on the Employee page in the Nest. 
  2. Enter Chemical name at product name and manufacturer (if known) in the top section. Select search. Chemicals in the SJU MSDS library will be displayed. If the MSDS you are seeking is not one shown in the SJU library, enter the product name and manufacturer (if known) in the Search MSDS online section and select search.
  3. If there are no matches with the SJU SDS library and your product description, a message will be displayed with the option to display all matching SDS's online (item #2). Select click here on item #2; this displays all SDS's online meeting the product description.
  4. Access required SDS from SJU or online inventory by selecting adjacent SDS icon. SDS will appear. View and print as required.
  5. To add SDS's to the SJU library:
    1. Go to the previous screen and check the box under “select” adjacent to SDS you wish to add to the SJU library
    2. Click the “add to e-binder” box above select
    3. Fill in the information requested on the next screen. Select a Location that best describes your department
    4. The SDS will be added by the administrator to the SJU library.

For a full user's guide on the VelocityEHS SDS Library (Formerly called MSDSonline), click on the SDS link on the Employee page in the Nest and scroll down to the footer and click on the button for the Help Center. 

Electronic access and other alternatives to paper copies are permitted in laboratories as long as no barriers to immediate employee access are created. If alternatives to paper copies are used, the format used and how workers can access the SDS(s) should be described and provided to workers. The SOP for Obtaining Laboratory Safety Data Sheets (SDS’s) should be reviewed and edited to include specific access instructions for the laboratory. There must be an emergency back-up system when using electronic access to SDS's in the event of a power outage, internet failure, etc. [e.g. paper, an off-line system (pdfs/USB stick), cellular smart device]. 

In addition, an employee should not have to ask or go through a supervisor for an SDS and must have the option to be able to print out an SDS if so desired or needed, including for providing to 1st responders in an emergency. 

Document this information and training to employees. Maintain a copy of the written SOP and documentation of training in your laboratory or area SDS binder or wall holder. 

Hazard Communication and Chemical Safety - Additional SJU Information