Reading and understanding safety data sheets

Chemicals present risks according to their proprieties. This presentation aims at providing information to understand how hazard information on chemicals is communicated through safety data sheets (SDSs). The reader will learn what information are provided in the standardized chemicals classifications and labelling according to chemical proprieties. These information allow the reader understanding the chemical potential risk for people, environment and equipment.

Reading and understanding safety data sheets


  • Introduction
  • GHS safety data sheets
    • Overview of different elements
    • Examples

Key Messages

GHS-SDS minimum information is provided in 16 sections describing :

  • The identity of a substance
  • Physical-chemical hazards
  • Storage, handling, transport and final disposal
  • Safety instructions for workers
  • Emergency procedures (e.g. fire fighting, first aid)

The information are used to realize risk assessments and to establish adequate operating instructions