Safety data sheet knowledge base – About the safety data sheet for downstream users
Safety data sheets are important communication tools in the supply chain.
The help all the members of the supply chain to meet their responsibilities in relation to the management of risks arising from the use of substances and mixtures.
Downstream users are informed in the form of a safety data sheet of the risks arising from their identified use and of the measures to take to control these risks.
Some safety data sheets also have an attachment that is called an exposure scenario. The exposure scenario provides more accurate data on safe use and on reducing the exposure than a safety data sheet.
If the exposure scenario does not cover the intended use, contact with the supplier should be made.
Otherwise, downstream users should develop their own chemical safety report.
This does not mean that you do not have to implement (and communicate toward the other members of the supply chain) those risk management measures that the supplier disclose otherwise (in a written statement, on a technical data sheet, in specifications, etc.).
The fact that we did not get a safety data sheet is likely to mean, that the substance or mixture is not considered hazardous.
Nevertheless, we should contact them and ask for a safety data sheet (in some cases legislation allows suppliers to provide a safety data sheet only upon request).
It should be checked wheter the safety data sheet contains a registration number.
If the registration number is included in the safety data sheet, you will have 12 months to comply with the REACH requirements specified for downstream users.
If a substance has not yet been registered and no registration number is issued, you should follow the instructions given in the safety data sheet.
You should check the information on hazards and on risk management. You should also check the implementation of risk management measures and the fact wheter any substance presented on its own or as a part of a mixture is subjected to authorization or some kind of restriction.
If the supplier does not support certain uses in order to protect human health or the environment, they must indicate this in Section 16 of the safety data sheet or among the information provided in compliance with Article 32. If the contraindication is not justified, the downstream user has the right to request further information or justification.
After the classification has been made, we will be able to tell whether or not we should provide a safety data sheet to our customers regarding the particular mixture.
In cases where the above exceptions are not met – thus no safety data sheet is needed to be compiled – for the substance or mixture, suppliers must provide the following information to all their downstream users and distributors (Article 32 to REACH):
No safety data sheet shall be compiled for hazardous substances or mixtures for consumer use on the market where sufficient information is provided to allow users to take the necessary measures to protect human health, safety and the environment, unless the downstream user or the distributor asks for it in particular.
You can find our article on the content and format elements of a safety data sheet here.