Safety Data Sheets

Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are documents consisting of 16 sections which detail information about the hazards of chemicals and mixtures. The information may be used to manage the hazards and risks associated with handling, storage, transport and safe disposal of the product, as well as providing emergency actions arising from exposure, spillage and fire situations.

The Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is a standard (SANS 10234) used to specify the classification criteria and the methodology to be used in order to classify chemicals and mixtures, and the layout of the safety data sheets. This standard has recently been gazetted in South African legislation as a requirement of the Hazardous Chemical Agents Regulation of 2021. This means that manufacturers, distributors and importers of hazardous substances must provide a current and GHS compliant Safety Data Sheet and Label.

Re-writing current safety data sheets may be a daunting task if you have a long list of products, or if you have manufactured a brand new product. Applying the GHS standard requires thorough knowledge of the standard and understanding of chemical properties and their interaction.

I can offer this service at a very competitive rate, having authored many safety data packs for various chemical manufacturers over the past number of years.

The Data Packs include:

  • Safety Data Sheet
  • Label
  • Transport Emergency Card (TREC/TREM) for transport of Hazardous Goods (SANS 10232-4)
  • Factory Information Card (a 1 page document detailing relevant safety information)
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About Me

My name is Merle Lynn Taylor.

I qualified as a Chemical Technician and have worked in analytical laboratories in the following chemical Industries:

  • Fertilisers and Acids
  • Breweries
  • Petrochemical
  • Water Treatment
  • Resin for fibreboard

While working in the latter industry, I was promoted from Laboratory Manager to SHE-Q Manager and managed the Quality, Occupational Health and Safety and Environmental Management Systems. I was there for 12 years.

I then transferred to the Pulp and Paper Industry as the SHE-Q Manager. I worked there for 12 Years, managing SHE-Q for 2 production facilities and a number of customer sites.

The company was amalgamated with a sister company, and I was tasked to update all the combined company MSDS’s to comply with the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (SANS 10234). There was no available training on the standard at the time, so I familiarised myself with it and proceeded to re-write all the documents (about 300) to comply with the GHS standard. The company then decided to obtain an electronic system to create and retain all the data sheets and I installed all the documents into the system.

Towards completion of this task, I decided to open my own business, Safety Data Services, Pty. Ltd. in order to privately continue the service to the chemical industry.

Prior to this year the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals has not been a legal requirement, but with the promulgation of the Hazardous Chemical Agents Regulation of 2021, the GHS format for Safety Data Sheets and Labels is a legislated requirement.