It has happened many times and it will keep on happening. A spill occurs and employees, not knowing the hazard level of the spilled chemical, start searching for safety data sheets or just follow the usual procedure of mopping up the hazardous substance causing more harm in the process. Printed documents are difficult to locate and, if they do not contain the right information, then situations like this can cause damage to property and harm health of people.
The importance of Globally Harmonized System SDS to employee safety at workplaces cannot be understated. The new OSHA GHS SDS places prime importance on employee training that will lead to greater awareness and safety. In most cases existing MSDS can be updated to the new SDS with only a few minor modifications whereas in others an entirely new one may need to be prepared if the chemical has been reclassified. In any case, one of the requirements of compliance with OSHA’s new guidelines is that employees must receive adequate training, whether it is in a processing unit or whether it is a transport or warehouse scenario. Documents need to be maintained in a printed format. What makes for greater safety is that documents are also available in an electronic format that can be accessed by any employee in a networked environment using portable devices or the data can be stored in the device itself. In addition, labeling is another requirement and this is a quick way for those involved to respond quickly and contain the damage should it ever occur.
One reason why SDS in its new format contributes to greater safety at workplaces is the structured way in which it is organized. Finding the section pertaining to a relevant action is easy and employees get information about how to contain the damage and about safe disposal. OSHA’s right to understand emphasizes training for employees. It is mandatory for employees to make sure each employee receives training and that he or she has understood the procedures involved in the safe handling of hazardous materials. Training has to be thorough and this is where a competent professional service company comes in useful. The company handles the preparation of SDS and labels in addition to training employees besides preparing automated electronic documentation for easy access. Along with a central repository for databases, the company can also have a centralized training information system in place in order to monitor how well the employees are trained. The SDS authoring service also handles training in the form of quizzes, video and other materials. In-house training is supported by videos and quizzes available online so that employees may refresh their knowledge and be prepared at all times.
There are benefits for companies that employ professionals for Globally Harmonized System SDS authoring. The safety data sheet is prepared the right way. There are no ambiguities in the labeling system. Employees are well trained and knowledgeable. Higher safety records translate to enhanced reputation for the employer and peace of mind. He also spends less money in containing damages because these are prevented.