Safety Data Sheet (SDS) Management

The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires chemical manufacturers and importers to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import. Using that information, they must then prepare more detailed technical bulletins called Safety Data Sheets, or SDSs.

Each department head or designee is responsible for maintaining a manufacturer-specific SDS for each hazardous or toxic substance used or stored in his/her work area(s), and for ensuring that they are readily accessible during each work shift to employees when they are in their work area(s).

In lieu of maintaining hard copies of SDS’s (i.e. binder, folder, cabinet, etc.), electronic versions will be available through MSDSonline, Farmingdale State College's Chemical Inventory and Safety Data Sheet service provider.

Please note, MSDSonline may ONLY be used as the SOLE SDS resource if ALL employees with the potential for chemical exposure in any given area have full access (i.e. computer access, a general understanding of how to navigate the system, etc.) to the service; otherwise, hard copies must be made readily available as well.

Each department head or designee must also send copies of all SDSs for new chemicals as they arrive to the Environmental Health and Safety Officer. This can be done one of two ways:

1. Access the MSDSonline site (click here) and enter the product name you're seeking to submit an SDS for in the search engine (you can narrow down your search by also including such information as the CAT. Number, the CAS Number, the Manufacturer, etc.) - if your initial search is not successful, try adding or removing information you've included in the search field and resubmit.

Once you've found the correct SDS, check the box associated with that product (left of product name) which prompts you to select "Assign to Company List"; click on that prompt, which opens up a second screen.

Fill out all required information on this "Approval Details" page and hit 'submit'. Your submission will be sent to a queue for the System Administrator's approval (the EH&S Officer). Please note: if your specific location is not listed in the drop down menu on the "Approval Details" page, call or email the EH&S Officer (click here for contact info.) so that it can be added.

2. SDSs may be emailed to the EH&S Officer at, or, the SDS(s) can be faxed to the attention of the Environmental Health and Safety Officer at (631) 420-9173. Whichever means is used to submit the SDS, be certain to add under separate cover details that include the specific location where the chemical(s) are to be used/stored - identify the Building, Department, Room Number and the Specific Location (i.e. cabinet A, stockroom, under fume hood #1, etc.). Once received, the proper SDS will be “paired” with the associated chemical(s) within MSDSonline, and hard copies will be maintained on file.

SDSs should be reviewed prior to purchase to properly evaluate the hazards and risks associated with the substances being considered for use.

Each department head or designee is responsible for ensuring that an appropriate SDS is forwarded with each initial product shipment. SDSs are also requested for purchases made through the Research Foundation. If the SDS is not received with the initial shipment, it is the responsibility of the ordering entity (department head/designee) to contact the supplier (manufacturer/importer/distributor) and acquire an SDS, put a copy in the department’s SDS binder, file, or appropriate area, and/or send a copy of the SDS to the Environmental Health and Safety Officer as explained above.

In addition, each department head or designee is responsible for ensuring that SDSs that have been replaced with a newer version and/or SDSs of discontinued materials are retained in accordance with the General Retention and Disposition Schedule for NYS Government Records, and other applicable laws and regulations. Click here to access the health, safety and security category of the schedule.

As a general rule, SDSs are retained for at least 40 years after superseded or obsolete.

Alternatively, if SDSs are/have been forwarded to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety, they will be maintained there for the required time period, and/or, will be “banked” in the MSDSonline service database, which will be backlogged/archived/saved at least annually.