Safety data sheets

A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is a document that provides health and safety information about products, substances or chemicals that are classified as hazardous substances or dangerous goods.


SDSs tell you

  • the product (its name, ingredients and properties) who manufactured or imported it how the product can affect your health how to use and store it safely
  • who manufactured or imported it
  • how the product can affect your health
  • how to use and store it safely

Employers' responsibilities

Employers using or storing dangerous goods or hazardous substances on their premises must ensure that:

  • they obtain an up-to-date SDS for each of these products
  • their employees, contractors and emergency services personnel have access to the SDS

Manufacturers' and suppliers' responsibilities

Manufacturers and importers of dangerous goods and hazardous substances must:

  • prepare an SDS for each of their products
  • give the current SDS to employers or occupiers of premises where the product is used or stored
  • review and revise each SDS as often as necessary (at least every 5 years) to make sure that the information is accurate and up to date

Downstream suppliers of dangerous goods and hazardous substances must also give SDSs to buyers, which they can get from the manufacturer or importer. This does not apply to suppliers who are retailers (for example, hardware stores).

Requirements of a compliant SDS

An SDS must be written in English, be legible and include:

  • product identifier and chemical identity
  • manufacturer or importer details
  • emergency telephone number
  • date of preparation or last review
  • hazard identification 
  • hazard statement(s) and precautionary statement(s)
  • composition of the substance and information on hazardous ingredients
  • first aid measures
  • firefighting measures and accidental release measures
  • exposure control, including exposure standards, engineering controls and personal protection information
  • information relating to handling and storage, including how the substance may be safely used
  • disposal considerations
  • information relating to the physical and chemical properties of the substance
  • stability and reactivity information
  • toxicological information, including health effects

If an SDS is developed to meet another Australian jurisdiction's hazardous substances legislation (eg NSW) then it will also comply with the Victorian OHS Regulations.

More information