The Critical Link Between Your Chemical Inventory and SDSs
We all know the regulations tell us we need to keep Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) for all the chemicals you have on your site. Most of us also have some record of our chemical inventory. These two datasets are crucial to keeping an organization compliant, but
why are they so often separated? Read on to understand.
SDSs are so important to keeping our organizations compliant, but it is surprising how low-tech most of the SDS solutions are. It's easy enough to keep a drawer, binder, or even a shared folder of SDSs that your employees can access. Paper copies by themselves are technically compliant, but it makes it tough to find anything you actually need. Keeping network-shared electronic copies ensure you are compliant even in the case of an emergency evacuation. Better yet, there are web-based databases available to you to store and search for your documents in a chemical database as needed. What if, however, you want to know if a certain chemical is actually in your stock? For that, you need an inventory tracking system.
Chemical Inventory Management
The same levels of data compliance and convenience apply to your chemical inventory. You can keep a spreadsheet or list of the chemicals onsite. These solutions are good for grabbing a snapshot of your chemical stock storage for a moment in time, but they can be thrown out of accuracy as soon as you receive or dispose of a single bottle. Maybe you update it once a year; hopefully you try to keep up with it day to day. There are databases to store and share and search your data too. Some systems have the ability to keep a barcode inventory of chemical containers, making finding certain bottles even easier. What if, then, you want to know the safety information for a chemical on your site? Some solutions require you to double check with a different system that stores your SDSs.
Linking the Two for Safety and Compliance
Even with a great chemical inventory system and/or SDS management system, there are gaps in information that occur. A lot of back-and-forth between programs is cumbersome to EHS professionals, and may render the systems unusable to lab staff. What's the point of having all that data available to your chemists if they won't use it? Linking your SDSs to your barcode inventory system is a small upgrade that makes a world of difference for usability and compliance. You can check if you have particularly dangerous chemicals onsite. You can look up the hazards of a chemical you're using but don't know much about. Not to mention the compliance reporting that can be built-in to a system that integrates these two necessary EHS tools. With the right system, your inventory knows the safety information for each of your chemicals and can spit out reports with the click of a button.
For information about our chemical inventory services, visit our Chemical Inventory Management page. If you would like to speak with one of our experts, click the button below to request a free initial consultation.