Can You Provide Safety Data Sheets Online?

Over 2.7 million workplace injuries and illnesses occurred in 2020. This shows that communicating possible dangers to employees is a very important practice. Safety data sheets exist for this reason and help with informing those who handle dangerous materials of the possible risks they face.

So, do you have to do this with physical sheets or must you distribute safety data sheets online? Below we discuss SDS management plans in organizations and how you can provide an SDS for employees. By the end, you should understand what the OSHA guidelines suggest, helping you with your company’s safety policies.

Can You Provide Safety Data Sheets Online?

OSHA has strong guidelines on what it requires when it comes to workplace SDS compliance. The following criteria assess whether you are correctly handling safety data sheets in the workplace.

1. Hazard Communication Plan

The first demand that OSHA has about safety data sheets in the workplace relates to your organization’s official hazard plan. In short, if you produce an electronic or online safety data sheet, you should include it in your company’s Hazard Communication Plan.

Also, these sheets must be both available and accessible to all employees. Thus, you should not put them behind passwords or only on computers where not every employee can access them. You should also inform or train your employees on where to find and use them.

2. Availability of Physical Copies

To be compliant with OSHA’s guidelines, you cannot limit your SDS plan to only work with online or electronic sheets. You should also be able to supply physical copies of safety data sheets when asked for them.

For clarification: This does not mean that you must print out all the safety data sheets you have or store them in a single place. It means that your employees or yourself must always have the ability to print out one should they be needed at any time.

3. Emergency Availability of Sheets

The third necessity to be OSHA compliant is the capability to continue to offer safety data sheets in the case of an emergency. OSHA demands a backup system in this case, to allow you to continue even should your computing systems fail for any length of time.

Managing SDS Online

These days, many organizations use several methods to access safety data sheets. They use systems such as online SDS management programs to access the sheets from anywhere at any time.

Some systems even have mobile apps and other methods of accessing the sheets. This is true even when the main computer system or cloud is unavailable for any reason.


You should now have a much better understanding of whether you can supply safety data sheets online. We know how hard it is to follow all the rules and sometimes you just need a little help with things like this. Lucky for you, we are here to help.

If you need a better system for SDS for employees, you should talk to us about what we offer. Our online SDS management system might be perfect for you and your needs. So, schedule a demo today and find out what we can do for you.