One Word for One World
One Word for One World

Translating safety data sheets: Complete information within the supply chain

Today, anyone who transports hazardous goods, or works with harmful chemical and biological substances and mixtures, generally relies on thorough and easily accessible information about the potential risks involved as well as information on how to handle the respective substances. The knowledge of potential risks regarding personal health, the life and limb of third parties, and the environment is essential in order to guarantee the responsible handling of substances and materials classified as dangerous.

Standardization of safety information

In order to inform hazardous material handlers on the proper handling procedure and the potential risks associated with dangerous substances and mixtures, lawmakers introduced a unified informational structure in the form of safety data sheets, otherwise known as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). By displaying the stipulated scope of information, safety data sheets regulate the process of handling dangerous chemicals for commercial or professional users on a uniform basis. Safety data sheet content was regulated in conjunction with respective national laws such as in Germany, for example, within the framework of the Ordinance on Hazardous Substances.

Safety data sheets as a part of the supply chain

The European legislature further emphasized the importance of safety data sheets to the international delivery network not only by bindingly regulating their creation, distribution, and retention for all members of the EU in accordance with the REACH Ordinance, but also by making them an integral part of the supply chain. This means that the last link of the supply chain can never be the end user, but rather the consignee or professional downstream user. Safety data sheets have not yet penetrated into the consciousness of the general public, regardless of their great importance to safety on the roads and in industry.

Transfer of the safety concept to other chemical substances

When dealing with safety data sheets, it is important to reduce barriers of use so that the MSDS are free of charge upon first launch and always delivered along with the product. Because the comprehensive user information provided by the MSDS has proven its value on all fronts, they are now used to identify chemicals and substances that pose no threat or dangerous effect at all. The data sheets for these more 'harmless' substances display the same kind of information as those for their potentially dangerous relatives.

Informational content of the safety data sheets

The MSDS contain information regarding the useful purpose of transported and preserved chemicals, as well as warnings about possible health and environmentally harmful consequences in the case of these chemicals coming into contact with people and animals or with water, air, or soil. The REACH number is an integral part of each MSDS. The acronym REACH is an aspect of EU regulations on chemicals and stands for "Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals". This number is more than just an ID in that it can be used to precisely trace the origins of and the path taken by chemicals. It also provides information on whether or not all steps taken up to a certain point within the supply chain have been performed in compliance with the rules. The REACH number is an important contribution to the safety concept within hazardous materials logistics, of which the MSDS have become the indispensable core.

Precise translations of your MSDS

Especially in a chemical context, it is essential that your translation be done professionally. We know how to translate your safety data sheets to be in compliance with the standards. This is because we work exclusively with native-speaking translators who have relevant knowledge in the field of chemistry in addition to their academic training. They know the specific chemical terminology, can follow the content and can thereby adequately relay it. So that you are also able to comply to global standards. In Europe for example, when working with your customers and business partners, we provide our translations based on the DIN EN 15038. This calls for the text to be proofread by a second translator. The European standard sets special demands on quality assurance and resource management. Let your project be translated by our experts and you will benefit from consistent and professional document translation.

Leo Kok
Talk directly to the expert

Our expert is ready to answer any questions you may have

Send Leo an email
Professional translators prefer our translation service. Fasttranslator is a corporate member of the leading global translation society ProZ, where 42 translators have given us a score of 5,0 out 5.