Debunking the myths of the Safety Data Sheet

How do you best handle drilling fluid safely?
AMC’s prime objective, as a contractor involved in drilling operations is to minimize safety and environmental risks, whilst maintaining drilling performance. Drilling fluids can contain a mix of chemicals, with common ingredients being barite, bentonite clay, silica, salts or oils. When not handled correctly, these fluids may cause risk to personal health or be potentially threatening to the local environment, including wildlife and waterways.

Several ways you can reduce the risks include:
  1. Elimination or substitution – utilising biodegradable, non-toxic drilling fluids or selecting premium product (that reduces overall consumption)
  2. Engineering controls – using facilities, equipment, and processes to reduce exposure, such as AMC’s award-winning Solids Removal Units™ to contain and recycle drilling fluids. These units can reduce drilling fluid consumption, water usage, waste disposal, mixing and management of drilling fluids
  3. Administrative controls such as:
    • Readily available copies of the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for information on safe handling and in case of exposure
    • Detailed risk assessments, work instructions and visible warning signs where required
    • Spill control measures and procedures for waste disposal
    • Using correct manual handling techniques during transport and handling
    • General housekeeping and clean up procedures
  4. Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The blue circular pictograms on AMC’s product labels define what PPE is recommended; such as proper gloves, footwear, eye protection , protective clothing, or respirators.

What is the purpose of safety data sheets?
Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are documents that provide detailed information about chemicals. SDS information includes details on:
  • hazardous chemicals present in each product
  • health and physical hazards
  • safe handling and storage procedures
  • emergency procedures
  • disposal considerations.
AMC’s product Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are prepared by the accredited third party organisation called Chemwatch and includes European REACH regulatory requirements and Global Harmonisation (GHS) regulatory requirements for 67 countries in their native language. We strongly recommend keeping an up to date Safety Data Sheet be present at any site to support the use of any of our products. The document provides valuable information on how the product is to be handled, stored and used.

Are SDS valid or not valid?
The SDS addresses situations to cover every scenario, including the worst case. Whether a large spill in a confined space has occurred, or a small amount of product is being used in a well-ventilated area, precautions listed in the SDS are valid. Regardless of the situation, an SDS provides valuable information and should form part of a greater, more in depth risk assessment.

Although the SDS lists extensive information about the nature of the product, it does not and cannot take into account the volumes being handled; the frequency a chemical is being handled or any other operating conditions. Therefore it is best practise to conduct a risk assessment in order to develop risk mitigation strategies prior to use.

For more information
To request a safety data sheet for an AMC product, place an SDS request on our portal at our website,

AMC’s prime objective, as a contractor involved in drilling operations is to minimize safety and environmental risks, whilst maintaining drilling performance