Decoding SDS Series Part 2b: Hazard Identification Continued
October 22, 2019
Part 2a covers hazard classes, signal words, and hazard statements of an SDS. Now let’s take a look at the importance of pictograms and hazard statements:
SDSs provide specific hazards of chemicals, displayed through the use of pictograms. The most common symbols are displayed below, with corresponding descriptions.
Precautionary statements are standard phrases that describe measures to prevent adverse effects of the chemical. Precautionary statements are designated codes, just like hazard statements are. Each code starts with the letter ‘P’ and is followed by three digits. There are five different classifications for precautionary statements:
General Precautionary Statement = 1
Prevention Precautionary Statement = 2
Response Precautionary Statement = 3
Storage Precautionary Statement = 4
Disposal Precautionary Statement = 5
Chemicals may have multiple precautionary statements. Note that the associated phrase for the code is displayed on the SDS and label, not the code itself. An example of the Precautionary Statements portion of Section 2 is shown below:
Precautionary Statements – General:
Keep out of reach of children.
Read label before use.
It is essential that workers fully understand the hazards and risks present when handling toxic chemicals. Section 2 is definitely the most important and informative piece of an SDS for this reason. Proper education of hazards will prevent potential occupational injuries, illnesses, and deaths.