Going Paperless to Meet OSHA’s New Hazard Communication Standard
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has made major revisions to its Hazard Communication Standard (HazCom) in 2012, which affects hundreds of thousands of businesses worldwide spanning a vast array of industries. In particular, business owners must implement the Hazard Communication Safety Data Sheets across their organisations.
According to the OSHA, the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires chemical manufacturers, distributors, or importers to provide Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) (formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets or MSDSs) to communicate the hazards of hazardous chemical products. As of June 1, 2015, the HCS will require new SDSs to be in a uniform format, and include the section numbers, the headings, and associated information under the headings below:
Section 1, Identification includes product identifier; manufacturer or distributor name, address, phone number; emergency phone number; recommended use; restrictions on use.
Section 2, Hazard(s) identification includes all hazards regarding the chemical; required label elements.
Section 3, Composition/information on ingredients includes information on chemical ingredients; trade secret claims.
Section 4, First-aid measures includes important symptoms/ effects, acute, delayed; required treatment.
Section 5, Fire-fighting measures lists suitable extinguishing techniques, equipment; chemical hazards from fire.
Section 6, Accidental release measures lists emergency procedures; protective equipment; proper methods of containment and cleanup.
Section 7, Handling and storage lists precautions for safe handling and storage, including incompatibilities.
Section 8, Exposure controls/personal protection lists OSHA's Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs); Threshold Limit Values (TLVs); appropriate engineering controls; personal protective equipment (PPE).
Section 9, Physical and chemical properties lists the chemical's characteristics.
Section 10, Stability and reactivity lists chemical stability and possibility of hazardous reactions.
Section 11, Toxicological information includes routes of exposure; related symptoms, acute and chronic effects; numerical measures of toxicity.
Employers Must Ensure that SDSs Are Readily Accessible to Employees
Going paperless is one of the most effective ways to implement the SDS in your organisation for the simple reason that data entry using digital forms simplifies data management and documentation in all areas of your business. You can assign a HazCom point person and provide a standard SDS to be used during inspections. Using mobile forms with any smart phone or tablet allows your HazCom point person to keep track of your Hazard Communication Safety Data Sheets.
Using paperless technology, it’s much easier for employees to provide employees easy access to the SDSs. Employees can fill out the smart forms anytime, anywhere and update data instantly to ensure that your company will be in compliance with the new HazCom standards. Your HazCom point person can collect all of the electronic forms submitted by your staff and access these in your management portal.
How do you intend to implement the SDS in your organisation? Do you have a plan in place to ensure compliance with the latest OSHA guidelines? Take the tour today