Key Findings of a Health Canada SDS Audit show industry needs more education on Authoring
The Workplace Hazardous Materials Bureau at Health Canada recently assessed and analyzed the compliance of 188 publicly available safety data sheets (SDSs) of hazardous products under the Hazardous Products Act (HPA) and the Hazardous Products Regulations (HPR).
Objective of Audit: To provide a preliminary assessment of the compliance of SDSs on the market. The results will provide a valuable baseline to identify where the most non-compliance occurs.
What did they Find?
Most of the observations of non-compliance were seen in Section 9: Physical and Chemical Properties and Section 2: Hazard Identification.
Out of 188 SDSs reviewed there was 4967 observations of non-compliance. Average of 26.4 observations per SDS. Every SDS reviewed had at least one observation of non- compliance.
What was not compliant?
The information element with the most non-compliant observations was “precautionary statements” in Section 2: Hazard Identification.
General themes relating to non-compliance included: Consistency, Specificity, Knowledge/comprehension of requirements, and Improper Use of authoring template. There were also observations of False/Misleading information found in several sections of the SDS as well as incomplete/missing information on the SDS. Read the details of the study and breakdown of the observation of non-compliance can be found in the Health Canada SDS Audit Summary.
Next Steps after Audit: More public education by the government on developing promotional material on areas of non-compliance.
Reflections from Chemscape: Using a registered SDS is critical to developing quality SDSs. There are only a handful of registered SDS Authors in Canada and 2 are affiliated with Chemscape. Using authoring software or low cost untrained SDS authors can increase your risk for non-compliance.