In 2017, 41 U.S. workers died after inhaling chemicals while at work. This number was up by seven in the previous year.
Making sure staff follow the correct procedures can prevent death and injury. Such processes are outlined in safety data sheets (SDS).
Using and updating your on-site SDS are good business practices, regardless of what your business does.
Wondering why safety data sheets are important? Read on to learn more.
Safety Data Sheets Are a Requirement
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) created a Hazards Communication Standard. This requires businesses to have up-to-date SDS.
Not having them, or not maintaining them, are a common violation of this standard. Your business could fail a safety audit by not managing sheets correctly.
The sheets are important so that your employees know how to safely handle and store chemicals. They also include information about first aid or fire-fighting measures.
Businesses have traditionally kept their SDS as hard copies in a binder. Everyone knows where they are and can access them quickly when necessary.
They Cover Prevention and Cure
SDS are invaluable since they explain how to store, handle, and dispose of hazardous chemicals. This includes how stable the chemicals are, what they react to, and how to transport them.
If employees follow the correct handling procedures, they should be able to avoid any major disasters. This includes knowing what to do to dispose of chemicals safely. The sheets also include ecological information so employees know what impact the chemicals could have.
Yet accidents do happen. The sheets also include information on measures employees should take if things go wrong. Section 6 deals entirely with an accidental release. SDS can help employees to safely contain any problems.
Try Using Online SDS
One of the downsides to keeping your SDS in a binder is the fact they need to be updated. Employees need to audit the binder to spot missing or outdated sheets.
This takes time and effort. One solution is making a regular audit part of your monthly task-list. Delegate it to a specific member of staff to make sure it gets done.
Another option is to use SDS software or one of the online solutions. Using SDS sheets online means the content is still accessible and available. Employees can also use the sheets off-site on their mobile devices.
It’s easier to find the right sheets thanks to search capabilities. That’s especially useful if they need a sheet in a hurry. Employees also know the sheets are up to date since the software pulls up the most recent information.
Does Your Business Have Its Safety Data Sheets in Order?
Now you know why safety data sheets are important. They’re a legal requirement to meet the Hazards Communication Standard. They keep your staff safe and your business in line with safety requirements.
Using online SDS can make it easier to manage your sheets and keep them up-to-date. Making sure your staff can access them is the most important thing.
Want to make sure you’re hitting other requirements? Check out our Business articles for more tips and advice.