After years of hearing about the GHS compliance requirements and various deadlines, you may be conditioned to tune out reminders—especially if you’ve already implemented a plan to reclassify your hazardous materials and re-author your safety data sheets in time for June 1st.
But what if GHS compliance isn’t the whole story this year? What if there’s more at stake than just potential OSHA violations and penalties (which can invoke fines of up to $7,000 per incident)?
For prudent, strategic companies, there’s a lot more at stake. Here are GHS three business priorities you need to address… or else risk losing ground to your competitors.
1. Environmental Safety
Environmental toxicology is not a required section within the new SDS format, but it’s well worth addressing from a corporate responsibility and public perception standpoint. Your buyers, end users, and nearby communities will want to know if and how your products may be dangerous to wildlife or marine life. Most SDS solutions don’t help companies include this data because it’s optional. But our SDS authoring tool comes with the ability to classify your materials’ environmental impact.
Why? Some customers won’t purchase certain chemicals, based on environmental risks. More important, eco consciousness pays off. According to Deutsche Bank research, which evaluated 56 academic studies, companies with high ratings for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors perform better financially. So take the GHS compliance opportunity to start using SDSs as sustainability documents, not just as hazard communication documents. With the right tools, going the extra mile only adds another 30 seconds to your authoring process. And it will definitely add to the credibility to your brand promise.
2. Enhanced Workplace Safety
The GHS compliance provisions are designed to create baseline, international safety standards. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to do more. Right now, for example, there are tools available that make it easy to provide enhanced, on-demand employee safety solutions.
Here at ERA, we recently launched a safety data mobile app for clients who implement our SDS management software. The app provides instant access to chemical hazard info via Android and iOS devices. With the app—from any phone or tablet—approved personnel can view any SDS that you’ve generated or uploaded into your library. If an employee spills a chemical, but isn’t nearby the associated chemical label or safety sheet, he or she can use a smartphone to immediately lookup the hazard specifics. From the administration side, leaders can control permissions, and ensure the right employees have access to only the appropriate SDSs.
3. Protect Proprietary Information
In the past, you may have encountered MSDSs that were deliberately vague about chemical components and their concentrations as a percentage by weight. You may even have created MSDSs like these yourself in order to protect your blends. Suppliers have long resorted to broad chemical ranges in order to preserve their special mixes. Unfortunately, imprecise composition ranges can sabotage emissions inventory reports and other EH&S data.
As you’re taking steps toward GHS compliance and reformatting your SDSs, you can simultaneously address this conflict: the safety data you share with your supply chain/clients needs to be accurate, but it doesn’t have to sacrifice your competitive edge. When you’re using the right SDS software, only the information that your customer needs to know for the purpose of regulatory compliance is shared. You, as the manufacturer, get to preserve your proprietary formulas.
Ready to see how you can author SDSs within a compliant hazard classification range? Or looking for more information about our safety data mobile app? What about the environmental toxicology feature in our SDS authoring tool? Just ask one of our GHS experts. We love hearing from you!