The Worker Protection Standard and Safety Data Sheets

Posted: July 27, 2016

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) have been renamed and are now referred to as Safety Data Sheets (SDS). According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Hazard Communication Standard requires the new format starting on June 1, 2016. One of the primary reasons for the change is that OSHA requires all SDSs to use a standard format.

The standard format includes information such as the chemical properties, various hazards (e.g., physical, health, environmental, etc.), protective measures, and safety precautions (e.g., handling, storing, and transporting).

SDSs were not designed for consumers but rather for employees and employers that use or may be exposed to chemicals in the workplace and also for emergency responders. In regards to the Worker Protection Standard, pesticide application information and SDSs must be displayed within 24 hours of application and before employees enter the treated area. The SDS for the applied pesticide product should be displayed for 30 days after the re-entry interval has expired and the SDS must be kept on file for 2 years after product was last used.

The following information is included in the new standard SDS format:

Section 1: Identification

Provides an identification of the chemical, uses, and contact information of the supplier.

Section 2: Hazard(s) Identification

Identifies the chemical hazards and warning information related to the hazards.

Section 3: Composition/Information on Ingredients

Identifies the ingredients in the product including impurities and stabilizing additives.

Section 4: First-Aid Measures

Describe the initial care for a person exposed to the chemical by untrained responders.

Section 5: Fire-Fighting Measures

Provides an overview for responding to a fire caused by the chemical.

Section 6: Accidental Release Measures

Recommends appropriate responses to incidents such as spills, leaks, and releases to reduce exposure to people, properties or the environment.

Section 7: Handling and Storage

Provides an overview on safe handling practices and conditions for safe chemical storage.

Section 8: Exposure controls/Personal Protection

Provides exposure limits, engineering controls, and personal protective recommendations to reduce worker exposure.

Section 9: Physical and Chemical Properties

Provides an extensive overview of the physical and chemical properties related to the substance or mixture.

Section 10: Stability and Reactivity

Provides an overview of the reactivity of the chemical and its stability information.

Section 11: Toxicological Information

Identifies toxicological and health effects information if information is available.

Section 12: Ecological Information (non-mandatory)

Provides an evaluation of the environmental impact of the chemical.

Section 13: Disposal Considerations (non-mandatory)

Provide information concerning proper disposal practices (e.g., recycling or reclamation of container) and additional safe handling practices.

Section 14: Transport Information (non-mandatory)

Provides classification information for shipping and transporting of hazardous chemical by various transportation modes.

Section 15: Regulatory Information (non-mandatory)

Provides information about safety, health, and environmental regulations specific to the product.

Section 16: Other Information

Date that the SDS was prepared or last revision and outline changes from previous versions.

For more information about complying with the Worker Protection Standard revisions or to schedule a visit, contact Jim Harvey, Rural Health Farm Worker Protection Safety Specialist, via email: or phone: 814-863-8565.


OSHABrief: Hazard communication standard: safety data sheets. (2012) United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

OSHA QuickCard: Hazard communication safety data sheets (2013) United States Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Contact Information

  • Educl Prgm Spec
Phone: 814-863-8214