During the last few months of “Trade Show Season”, a common question we were asked was “Once my safety data sheets are updated will you monitor them and replace them with a new SDS on an ongoing basis?”
The answer is No and here is why:
- You Know What You Use
- You Can Do It Cheaper
- We Help You Manage Your Hazards
You Know What You Use
One of our clients said it best when he described why he chose SDS RiskAssist to help with his chemicals management system – “I knew I had to keep a piece of chemical safety because if I contracted it out, I would lose control of it!”
You buy chemicals based on their benefits. Ie: faster drying paints, stronger glues, expandable foams, etc. If you never consider the associated hazards of these chemicals, will workers use the chemicals safely? Will the chemicals be stored properly? Will the containers and remnants be disposed of appropriately? These are questions to check when you purchase your chemicals, not after the fact. And you can only check if you look at the SDS before you buy.
Also, what happens when chemicals become obsolete? Does it get disposed of responsibly or remain in inventory gathering dust? One customer we audited only used 12 of the 55 products they had sheets for. An outsider doesn’t know when you stop using a chemical.
With only a third-party document versus in-house chemicals management system, you lose the ability to consume responsibly and control chemical-associated risk. For those who work towards responsible chemicals management, engagement with SDS updates is integral.
You Can Do It Cheaper
In many jurisdictions, with WHMIS 2015 and/or UN GHS, SDSs do not automatically expire. However, a supplier is obligated to update an SDS within 90 days of becoming aware of a significant change in the information associated with a regulated chemical.
Suppliers have adapted to this change by providing an updated SDS with each purchase of a chemical. Note however that though suppliers must make the new SDS available to future customers, there is no obligation to notify past customers, so most suppliers also make their SDS available on-line. A quick “Google” search can find the proper SDS for 80% of chemicals in a matter of seconds, with the proper product identifiers.
For the remaining 20% of chemicals, sourcing the SDS is more challenging because every SDS is unique and chemicals can be distributed by one of thousands of companies, each branding their own SDS. This means that changes in chemical composition, product name, product ID or even supplier, can make on-line searches difficult or even impossible. A third party such as Rillea Technologies cannot reasonably monitor and stay ahead of these changes across thousands of companies without significant effort, additional information that only you have and additional cost.
Instead we offer, in our on-boarding process, to replace any MSDSs with SDSs or to document why we cannot. In our e-binder we show the type of sheet (SDS vs MSDS) and its age in a sortable/filterable format. This gives you the ability to quickly gage which SDSs should be considered for replacement, based on age.
We Help You Manage Your Hazards
Having a collection of paper or files is only the beginning of responsible chemicals management. It is what you do with that paper or files that impacts safety, health and the environment. A typical organization has 200 chemical products. That is 2,400 pages in your SDS binder. No wonder no one reads them!
Digital technology, however, changes everything. A computer doesn’t get tired or make mistakes when it is searching for information and with this opens a whole new opportunity to responsibly managing chemicals.
Rillea’s philosophy is to maximize value of information and streamline complexity for a reasonable price. We work hard to do what we say and say what we do and we use digital technology to achieve this. The result is an epiphany for safety managers. In seconds, they journey beyond document management to “see” the binder’s hazard information at their fingertips.
Now you know your SDS collection contains:
- 600 hazard statements, 200 of which are dangerous
- 28 carcinogenic products
- 15 products that contain designated substances
- “Causes Serious Eye Damage” as your most frequent higher risk hazard
With this knowledge, you can treat chemical safety like other safety activities and manage the hazards.
Rillea’s vision is that every person handling chemicals understands the hazards and is prepared to protect themselves, those around them and the environment. To achieve this vision, we want to work with proactive chemical managers who care about chemical-related occupational/environmental health and safety, keep their SDSs up-to-date but struggle to sustain a chemicals management system across changes in personnel, chemicals and regulations.
If you believe in “keeping a piece of chemical safety”, contact us. We will guide you on a journey to a sustainable chemical management system which will help to improve health and safety for you, your employees and the environment.