All businesses that use chemicals must understand and maintain safety data sheets (SDSs). This is one of many Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. The OSHA fine for failing to correct missing SDSs by the abatement date is $13,653 per day.
It may surprise you that Hazard Communication Standard 29 CFR 1920, 1200 is the second most common violation. This relates to SDSs. It follows the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS).
Joining with the GHS creates a universal approach to classifying chemicals. This clarifies what information to include on hazardous chemical labels. It also standardizes the 16 sections on the SDS.
Online SDS solutions ensure that your SDS management systems meet OSHA standards. Keep reading to learn how to find the best online solution.
What Is the Purpose of a Safety Data Sheet (SDS)?
Hazardous chemical manufacturers and importers prepare SDS for each substance. This gives information about the chemical and physical properties of their product. The purpose is to provide details about hazard risks, proper storage, and exposure-response.
Workers should be familiar with the SDS for each chemical they use. The SDS will tell them if they need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) or take other precautions.
OSHA regulations require employers to keep SDSs readily accessible to all employees. They must also provide training about how to locate the SDSs. Training should include how to read the SDSs and current safety procedures.
OSHA Standards Regarding SDS Online
Most documentation processes are moving online and away from paper formats. This allows for easier updates and employee access from different locations.
The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012) allows electronic or other alternative access to SDSs. It stipulates that employees must have immediate access in all work settings.
OSHA standards also allowing paperless methods. OSHA monitors outcome-performance. They’re not concerned with your strategy for compliance.
You must meet the standard by adhering to the following criteria:
- Employees must have reliable devices to access SDSs at all times
- Workers must know how to use the hardware and software
- The system must have reliable back-up systems and alternate access in case of device failure
- Electronic systems must be a part of the company’s hazard communication program
- Workers and emergency responders need ready access to SDSs if desired
Today, many companies use internet-based suppliers or SDS Database solutions. Some SDS providers offer on-demand services for their customers as well.
Managing Online Safety Data Sheets and Workplace Safety
Businesses receive SDSs from manufacturers or importers. This should arrive with every new chemical order received. SDSs need to be updated anytime the chemical undergoes significant change.
The same applies when new information emerges associated with research on the chemical. This may include new hazard findings or hazard protection procedures.
Using an online software platform allows seamless compliance with these standards. It automatically updates and indexes SDSs in your software’s database. This makes it easy to find the information you’re looking for.
These systems also provide ongoing back-ups. This means that your business is always ready for an emergency situation.
Have you ever tried to find an SDS form in a binder at your workplace? It takes time and in an emergency, can be even harder to locate.
Every time there’s a change to the information, you must create a newly updated hardcopy. In some businesses, this could be a full-time job.
Employees must remember where the binders are kept and you must ensure that they aren’t moved. Having them accessible via devices in all work locations solves these problems.
Protect Your Business and Your Workers
OSHA mandates that you protect your employee’s health and safety. Responsible owners wish to prevent harm to their workers. This enhances productivity and promotes employee retention.
Online systems also ensure that you’re working with the most current information. Now you can rest easy. All employees have the SDSs information for preventing, protecting, and responding to emergencies.
Use a Sustainable SDS Software Solution
For those working in the environment, health, and safety industry, sustainability is key. Online SDS software solutions meet creates a more sustainable workplace.
Digital storage of information omits the use of paper. You also reduced supply costs for ink and electricity used to print new and updated SDS.
OSHA mandates that there must not be any barriers to workers accessing SDSs. So, what does OSHA consider to be a barrier? It’s defined as anything that discourages or doesn’t allow the worker to access the SDS.
One example would be if the SDS manual or device was located inside a manager’s locked office. Or, if only certain personnel have access to a locked cabinet or computer system.
Thus, employers must ensure that all workers know how to use and have a logon for computers. The computers must also be located in a place that’s easily accessible by everyone. Last, workers must know how to use the SDS software to locate the SDS they need.
Do You Want an Efficient and OSHA Compliant SDS Solution?
This article has shown the benefits of using an SDS online software solution. KHA Online SDS gives you on-demand access to SDSs from all connected devices.
Online-SDS™ provides a no-cost, easy initial startup. We offer varied program levels and personalized service with monthly invoicing. You can reach an operator for assistance 24/7/365.
KHA services include monitoring and regular reporting of your HazMat inventory. We provide dynamic or static inventories and user permissions for all your sites. This reduces clerical time by about 50 percent.
This makes your company safer, compliant, and more efficient. Get more information about KHA’s serves today.