In a recent case a supplier of biologically active products for clinical trials was reported to the HSE for not supplying Safety Data Sheets (SDS) to their client.

Under the CHIP or Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002, suppliers are responsible for identifying the dangers of the chemicals they supply to enable users to take the necessary measures to protect human health and the environment.

In addition to providing hazard information on the label, suppliers have to supply more detailed documentation in the form of a Safety Data Sheets which lists key information including how to handle the product in case of damage / spillage.

The CHIP regulations were replaced by REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals) the system for controlling chemicals in Europe. This became law in the UK on the 1st June 2007.

REACH has retained the old system regarding the issue of Safety Data Sheets.

In the UK, suppliers are EXEMPT from providing Safety Data Sheets if:

  1. If the substances/mixtures are supplied in the UK and not classified as hazardous or considered to be substances that are persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) or very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB) (e.g., endocrine disruptors).
  2. For certain products intended for the final user, e.g. medicinal products or cosmetics.

As well as receiving chemicals you may supply them to others.

If you are dealing with hazardous products you should ensure your internal processes do not allow you to book in the products on to your system until you have received the Safety Data Sheets.

Your supplier need only supply you this document initially. If sell the products on, you must pass on information (as Safety Data Sheets) to those whom you supply including your logistics provider who will be handling the goods.