Having a compliant Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) can be a challenge faced by the chemical industry. SDSs require continual review to ensure they are up to date and provide the necessary information for safe handling of the product. Arguably one of the most important parts of the SDS is section 1.4, where the emergency telephone number is listed. This number should provide fast access to knowledgeable personnel who can offer clear and appropriate advice in the event of an incident. Failure to comply with regulations can result in penalties in some countries.
Depending on the country you are generating the SDS for, the emergency telephone number requirements will differ. Some countries may require the emergency number to be local or the service be provided 24 hours. Despite what the regulations dictate, it is recommended that all emergency telephone numbers be offered in the local language where the product is being sold (Ex. Spanish for Mexico). More information on required telephone standards by country can be found here.
Below are the basic requirements for emergency response for countries that industry often has questions regarding:
According to the Hazardous Products Regulation (SOR/2015-17), an emergency number and any restriction on the use of the number (days and hours of operation) must be listed on the SDS. Only in certain circumstances is a 24-hour emergency number required. Under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, shipping documents must list a 24-hour emergency number.
29 CFR 1910.1200 states that the name, address and telephone number of the chemical manufacturer, importer or responsible party must be available. The telephone number must be listed on shipping documents and the number must always be monitored when the hazardous material is in transit. The emergency telephone number must be based in the US.
The European Union
In the EU, many Member States (MSs) have appointed an official emergency response center. If there is a poison centre located in the MS where the product is being sold in, that number must be listed on the SDS. The response should be in the official language(s) of the MSs for which the SDS is intended. Poison centres usually can only provide medical advice and may have restrictions on hours of operation and who can use the service. It is recommended that an additional number be listed on the SDS where emergency advice can be obtained.
Japan does not specify whether a domestic emergency telephone number or 24h emergency telephone number should be provided on an SDS. It is recommended the emergency telephone number responds in the local language.
Regulations on the Safety Management of Hazardous Chemicals in China, states that all hazardous chemicals, prior to import or manufacture in China, must be registered.
Companies that import and manufacture chemicals must comply with the State Administration of Work Safety (SAWS) Article 5-6, Chapter 2 and Article 22, Chapter 4, Order 53. The Articles state that only registration institutions (33 in total) are qualified to provide an emergency response service.
It is also required that the emergency response service be provided through a fixed-line (local in-country)
with 24h professional support available and have:
• An emergency response database for hazardous chemicals
• Online digital recording devices and at least eight professional responders
• The ability to handle, at minimum, three emergency response phone calls instantaneously
• The expertise to accurately consult on emergency issues (chemical leakage, fire, explosion and poisoning)
How can we help?
Listing the emergency telephone number on the SDS is important for both compliance and risk management.
Is the number reliable? Are the personnel answering the phone call a qualified individual and can provide
evidence-based help in the correct language? Nexreg hosts authoring/review services for your product’s SDS
and can provide access to a 24-hour official emergency response center to ensure peace of mind as your
If you have questions about emergency telephone requirements for your SDS, contact Nexreg or register for our FREE expert webinar on Emergency Response Sept 15th, 2020.
We’re proud to ensure your SDSs and emergency telephone number are compliant.
ChemSafetyPro. Global Requirements on Emergency Telephone Numbers in GHS SDSs. 2019-11-16.
National Chemical Emergency Centre (NCEC). Global legal standards for emergency telephone numbers. May
2018 Edition. https://the-ncec.com/en/resources/global-legal-standards-for-emergency-telephonenumbers-(