The OSHA Hazard Communication Standard requires that all employees be provided with information about hazardous chemicals that they use or may be exposed to in the work place. The primary information tool for this is the Safety Data Sheet (SDS), a document that suppliers of any hazardous chemical must provide to users, that describes the hazardous properties of the chemical(s) and appropriate risk reduction techniques.

SDSs must be readily accessible during each work shift to employees when they are in their work area(s).  Electronic access and other alternatives to maintaining paper copies of the SDSs are permitted as long as no barriers to immediate employee access are created.  Mechanical spaces and other routine maintenance areas where computer and internet access cannot be assumed to always be available shall maintain hard copies of SDSs.

To find SDSs online, open a browser's search page and enter the following: 'chemical name' + 'sds' + 'manufacturer's name' (if known).

All NYU departments must ensure that they maintain copies of SDSs for all materials used in their areas either electronically or as hard copies and they must be readily available to all employees. Contacting the manufacturer, searching online, or using the BioRAFT SDS search tool are all options in obtaining SDSs.


All hazardous chemicals used or stored at the University must be properly labeled at all times. Labels should list at least the chemical identity, appropriate hazard warnings, and the name and address of the manufacturer, importer or other responsible party. Most, if not all of this information should be on the original chemical container. If the chemical is transferred from the original container into another container, the second container must also be labeled with at least the chemical identity, appropriate hazard warnings.