Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) are documents that provide advice on safety precautions of the product, protective measures to be followed, and information on the health, physical, and environmental hazards.
An SDS is generated for a substance or mixture in accordance with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) classification criteria. These regulations are followed by many countries and provide an important source of information to the product users. Every country has its own language requirements based on the native tongue of its citizens. For this reason, SDSs often need to be translated before being distributed around the world to be compliant with the laws of the country in which it is to be used.
Who Does This Apply To?
The SDS provides detailed information about the product and is required for hazardous products that are being imported and distributed to various countries. These countries may have specific regulations for the SDS to ensure that it is fully compliant, including language requirements.
Is This Regulation Mandatory?
The regulations require that SDSs be written in the official language(s) where the product will be placed on the market. For example, Canada requires that all labels and SDSs be written in both English and French. This is to ensure that all users can easily understand and comprehend the hazards, precautions for safe use and handling, and the symptoms and effects of exposure.
By having the SDS available in multiple languages, this will make the information readily accessible to help protect human health and the environment.
What are the risks if a company chooses not to comply?
Manufacturers are typically responsible for creating the product SDSs, with the suppliers distributing them to the customers. Employers should make sure that the SDS is up to date and compliant, and available in the required languages. They should also try to make the SDSs available in the native language of the employees & workers.
A common misconception is that an English GHS SDS will be acceptable everywhere in the world. If a worker cannot read the SDS, then they cannot understand the product hazards. The risks if a company does not have fully translated SDSs could result in worker accidents or serious injury due to lack of accessible information. The products could also be denied entry into the destined countries if there are no language-compliant versions of the SDS available. For example, an EU CLP SDS must be translated into the Spanish language for use in Spain.
The document must also follow the applicable country regulations. Sometimes the SDS is only translated into the appropriate language. For example, a U.S. compliant SDS translated into Danish will not be compliant in Denmark.
How Can Nexreg Ensure Your Compliance?
Nexreg has two service options available for SDS translations. The first is direct translation of your existing SDS into the new language. We can acquire direct translations in up to 120 languages. Nexreg also offers SDS generation services for over 100 countries and languages. The SDS Nexreg creates will be guaranteed compliant according to the applicable GHS regulations of the desired country.
We use a statement library database of translations to create and translate the SDSs, and if needed, we can acquire translations of client specific statements upon request. These translations are provided by native speakers who are language experts specializing in industry-specific fields and are located around the world. This is to help ensure that the translated SDSs are accurate and compliant.