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Since December 1st, 2013, all employees have been required to be trained on Safety Data Sheets, hazard communication plan and healthcare policy management in the workplace by their employer. An SDS is a precautionary standard in order to avoid injury and to educate employees on potentially harmful chemicals in the workplace.  It is also an important component of product stewardship as well as occupational safety and health.  SDS’s are a commonly used system for cataloguing chemicals, chemical compounds, and chemical mixtures.  More often than not, these forms will include physical data of the substance (ie. Melting point, boiling point, etc.). The SDS is widely used to describe toxicity, health effects, how to store said substance, and spill handling procedures.  As a safety measure for employees, each and every SDS contains first aid information, as to how to clean and or disinfect an employee contaminated with said substance.  Certain chemicals have different levels of reactivity, meaning that they require specific types of handling.  SDS’s have been implemented to prevent chemical activation of which can injure employees, and cause a business to shut down due to lack of safety protocol being followed.  All of this is to ensure that the handling and working with that substance is in a safe and condoned manner that abides to all governmental regulations and requirements.
The new HazCom standards implemented by OSHA, require an in-depth hazard classification, descriptive clear labels, a sixteen section format for all SDS’s, and of course the informing and training of all employees.  All classifications now consist of specific criteria for the classification of health and physical hazards, as well as classification of mixtures.  All chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictograph, as well as a hazard statement for each hazard class and category.  Violation will ensue if these labels are damaged in the slightest, for they are required to be easy to read and understand.  Precautionary statements must also be provided about any and all hazardous ingredients contained in a substance.  If any new hazards are identified by the employer after the date of December 1st 2015, it is the job of the employer to inform and educate all employees within six months of said discovery.  The latest legal date to inform all employees by is June 1st, 2016.  However, if the employer is making a reasonable effort to comply, but has yet to received the new SDS’s, then said legal end date may be extended.
When it comes to accessing SDS’s, it is within the standard of compliance to keep all files in an “online binder.” However, all files must be obtainable in a backup location in the event of a power outage or in the case of inaccessibility, as well as offsite locations.  In order to be fully and legally compliant, employers must learn the standards as well as the ability to identify responsible staff members that properly follow guidelines.  The employer must also provide and implement a written Hazard Communication Program (HazCom) which informs all employees about a potential hazard communication plan and healthcare policy management.  Other employer duties consist of updating his/her employees with important information regarding SDS Maintenance.  Lastly, the employer must constantly undergo re-evaluation and reassessment of his or her program.  This will guarantee compliance with national requirements, and keep your workplace a safe and functioning area of employment as well as care.  Ensure that you follow all protocols with the many online certification courses offered by MedTrainer.