Safety data sheets are required by OSHA to help employees identify hazards and understand proper handling of specific materials or chemicals. Historically, these safety data sheets are printed in hard copy format and stored in a binder for easy access. So, do you really need one software to rule them all?
It’s easy to believe that most companies who use SDS software do so at the bequest of OSHA. But in reality, software has proven to be good business sense. Company leaders and EHS managers have determined that SDS software contributes enough value to the company to warrant its inclusion in the EHS program.
Let’s look at five of the top benefits SDS software offers companies and what you can expect from an electronic safety data sheet database.
#1 – SDS Software Saves Time
No matter your industry, company size, or purpose, time is one of your most valuable resources. This is especially true for busy EHS leaders who must attend to myriad tasks throughout the workday. Taking time to manually sort through SDS binders to see what’s missing and what’s not up-to-date can eat up valuable hours that could be spent on more important safety initiatives.
SDS software ensures that all required content remains in place and up to date, giving EHS leaders a hands-off approach. Plus, content is readily available when it’s needed without an extensive search for the right information. Workers can locate the safety data sheets they need with a simple search query and not have to worry about the information being current.
Also, SDS software now offers mobile access so workers can get the information they need on demand, no matter where they’re working. This alone is a valuable tool for remote teams and field workers who don’t have the benefit of in-house resources.
#2 – Companies Save Money
Naturally, with time savings also comes money savings. When companies can spend less time on task-heavy work, they are better able to use those resources in areas that need it most.
This is especially important for safety leaders to recognize. As high-value members of the organization, performing menial tasks like SDS reviews means that the company is unable to best utilize your knowledge and resources during that time. It’s just not good business to have someone performing time-intensive tasks when it could be easily automated for better, faster results.
#3 – It Reduces Risk
Risk can take many forms, especially when it comes to workplace health and safety. SDS software helps you reduce your risk in several ways. For starters, it ensures you always have up-to-date safety data sheets as required by OSHA, which can help you to avoid compliance issues and costly fines. Also, having SDS on hand at all times gives your workers the resources they need to handle materials safely and mitigate their risk of an incident.
#4 – It’s Efficient
Efficiency comes with its own time- and money-saving benefits. When systems and processes are operating at their highest efficiency, everyone benefits.
As an EHS leader, you’re spending less time worrying about the accuracy of the work being performed. SDS software is updated often and automatically, so you don’t have to guess at its validity. SDS are contained within the database, so there’s no chance of information unknowingly going missing.
Workers can access the same information at scale, so there’s no need to stash multiple binders around your organization. This also means having fewer resources to maintain, which can also save time and money.
#5 – It’s Sustainable
Sustainability is often synonymous with environmentally friendly. Imagine the trees, energy, and ink you’d save by not having to print hard copy safety data sheets ever again.
It can also give you insight into the chemicals you’re using and keep the most hazardous ones out of your supply chain altogether. For example, you might use chemical inventory software to track chemicals and receive an alert when specific ones enter your facility.
Will You Add SDS Software to Your EHS Strategy?
SDS software is just good business practice. It’s a simple yet powerful way to save your company time and money, reduce your risk, and add efficiency and sustainability to your organization.
Explore how these and other benefits can help improve your EHS program and provide a safer work environment for all.
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