A couple months ago, I wrote an article on converting your MSDS to SDS. We are fast approaching that deadline of June 1st for SDS compliance, but compliance will continue to be an important OHSA requirement long beyond the June 1st deadline.
Often, manufacturers are faced with authoring their own SDS sheets or outsourcing that task to another company who specializes in creating compliant SDS sheets. Either way it can be quite costly, but getting it wrong could be even more costly.
Most SDS authoring companies have authors who have professional writing experience and are trained in the 16 sections of SDS OHSA compliance. OSHA provides a “Quick Card” for your convenience.
Having a toxicological understanding of the chemicals that comprise your products will allow you to create more accurate and compliant SDS sheets. Some authoring companies have toxicologists on staff to assist in the writing and compliance of your Safety Data Sheets.
- Language & GHS (Globally Harmonized System)
SDS compliance is moving closer to a GHS (Globally Harmonized System) compliance. When doing business outside of the United States, not only is it important to understand GHS, but it is important to understand foreign languages and laws on a local and regional basis. Many SDS authoring companies have foreign language experts available to assist with this.
OSHA violations can be very costly and stressful for a company to overcome. Penalties can run anywhere from $70,000 to $7000 for each violation. There are seven different kinds of violations that can be levied on a company. Serious, Willful, Repeat, Failure to abate prior violation, Other than serious, De Minimis, and Additional. Understanding these violations is important to minimizing the risk of being fined. Stericycle has a detailed listing of these OHSA fines for HazCom.
- Communication & Distribution
Once your SDS Sheets are written you must have a plan to communicate and distribute them in a compliant way. Many authoring companies will provide this as a service to your company.
SDS Authoring Resources
SDS compliance can be a tricky business fraught with plenty of potential pitfalls. If you have all the resources available to execute a solid SDS authoring plan, you and your company are probably one of the few. If you don’t have all the resources you need, consider contacting a couple of the SDS authoring companies below.
- MSDSonline.com – Claims to have a number of certified professionals. “We employ experienced regulatory chemical experts and utilize robust authoring technology so you’re assured that your MSDSs comply with all local, national and international regulations, including 16-section ANSI, OSHA, WHMIS, EU, NAFTA and other global formats.
- 3ecompany.com – These folks have their own software authoring platform called MSDgen®, SDS authoring professional services, and distribution services to deliver SDS compliant messaging.
- The Compliance Center – This company has similar services to the others but they go to great lengths to introduce you to their certified staff. This is nice because one is not always sure how many qualified people these SDS authoring companies have on staff.
- SDS Pro – SDS Pro touts its ability to create custom compliant SDS sheets with company logos and designs. They also seem to have a strength in training, which might be a need beyond the SDS compliant sheets themselves.
- MSDSauthoring.com – Services include authoring, updating, archiving, determination of properties, formats, and standards. They also have a nice easy to understand and follow website and include 18 months of free updates for SDS authoring.
Cazbah and your Internet Marketing consultant will work with your SDS outsourcing partner to provide OHSA compliant “Ready Access” of your Safety Data Sheets via your website.
SDS compliance can be a very complicated and risky business. It can also be very costly, but spending your money upfront to create SDS compliant sheets and a solid communications strategy will most likely save you a lot of money and frustration in the long run.