Regulations that Chemical Retailers must know being the Responsible Party to provide SDS

According to 29 CFR 1910.1200(g)(6), the responsibilities of chemical retailers are to ensure that distributors are provided with an appropriate material safety data sheet with their initial shipment and with the first shipment after a data sheet is updated. The standard does not compel manufacturers to supply material safety data sheets with each product shipped or to reimburse distributors of the products for duplication costs. The standard does require chemical retailers to ensure that each container of hazardous chemicals is labelled. [1]

Hazard Communication Final Rule paragraph (g)(7), (enclosed) OSHA clarifies the different responsibilities of retailers with respect to commercial customers and employers purchasing in retail quantities. According to paragraph (g)(7)(iii) of the HCS, retail distributors selling hazardous chemicals to employers having a commercial account shall provide a material safety data sheet to such employers upon request and shall post a sign or otherwise inform them that a material safety data sheet is available. [2]

The material safety data sheet must be provided to commercial customers with the initial shipment and with the first shipment after the data sheet has been updated. Retail distributors must provide, upon request, material safety data sheets to commercial customers and post a sign or otherwise inform them that a material safety data sheet is available. This provision of the HCS was included to prevent the necessity of providing a sheet to each customer of a retail establishment in order to ensure that employers received a material safety data sheet. Your constituent is not required to provide material safety data sheets to retail distributors that have informed him that they do not sell the product to commercial customers or open the sealed container to use it in their own workplaces. [3]

The requirement to provide material safety data sheets (MSDSs) to employers who buy their hazardous chemicals from a retail outlet and who request an MSDS for the purchased chemical is a requirement of the standard for these types of distributors if they are transmitting hazardous chemicals to downstream employers. As mentioned in the preamble to the 1987 final rule on Hazard Communication (FR Vol. 52, No. 163, page 31866): "retail distributors will have to assess their product lines, and whether or not they have commercial accounts, to determine whether they must comply with this provision." [2]

Standard: 1910.1200(g)(7)(iii)

Retail distributors selling hazardous chemicals to employers having a commercial account shall provide a material safety data sheet to such employers upon request and post a sign or otherwise inform them that a material safety data sheet is available. [4]

Standard: 1910.1200(g)(7)(v~vi)

If an employer without a commercial account purchases a hazardous chemical from a retail distributor not required to have material safety data sheets on file (i.e., the retail distributor does not have commercial accounts and does not use the materials), the retail distributor shall provide the employer, upon request, with the name, address, and telephone number of the chemical manufacturer, importer, or distributor from which a material safety data sheet can be obtained. [4]

Standard: 1910.1200(g)(7)(vii)

Chemical manufacturers, importers, and distributors need not provide material safety data sheets to retail distributors that have informed them that the retail distributor does not sell the product to commercial accounts or open the sealed container to use it in their own workplaces. [4]

References and Citations:

[1]  OSHA Regulations. (2021). Retrieved 7 November 2021, from https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/standardinterpretations/1990-05-16-0

[2] OSHA Standard Interpretations. (2021). Retrieved 7 November 2021, from https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/standardinterpretations/1994-09-28

[3] OSHA Standards. Retrieved 7 November 2021, from https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/standardinterpretations/1989-03-03

[4] MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) requirements and Regulations. (2021). Retrieved 7 November 2021, from https://ehso.com/msds_regulations.php

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