HazCom 2012 Safety Sheets by ICSDS—A Seamless Transition

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Deadlines for compliance with OSHA HazCom 2012 requirements have passed. Still, there are many manufacturers/importers who have not upgraded existing MSDS to GHS SDS as specified by OSHA for a variety of reasons such as not having received SDS from upstream suppliers or confusions about classification and categorization of chemicals. Strict penalties are mooted and the sooner one becomes compliant the better it is.

Getting it wrong is also not desirable. In effect the SDS is more or less similar to the earlier MSDS conveying similar information but in a more structured way. The MSDS has 8 sections to the 16 of SDS. Upgrading an existing to HazCom 2012 GHS should pose no problem except where a product needs to be reclassified. Manufacturers/employers handling only a couple of products may find it a simple task to do so either on their own or with the assistance of experts in preparation and upgradation of SDS to the new regulations. Where manufacturers or importers handle hundreds of different chemicals, the task may be significantly more complex. Where such manufacturers export to other countries such as Canada, Australia or China or the EU, it becomes necessary to not only have SDS updated to conform to OSHA HazCom 2012 but also to be compliant with existing norms in specific countries that have adopted GHS SDS in their own way. This is where HazCom 2012 Safety Data Sheets by ICSDS services prove invaluable.

Time is of the essence especially in cross border trade. Lack of an acceptable SDS in the country of import may see the consignment withheld. For instance, many American manufacturers supply basic, raw or intermediate chemicals to buyers in Canada where HPA and WHMIS requirements must be met. ICSDS not only helps such manufacturers prepare updated SDS to conform to OSHA but also to modify such SDS for Canadian or other country’s jurisdictions.

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Expertise in knowledge about OSHA and regulations of importing countries plays a key role in ICSDS expertise in providing fast and efficient services. Professionals examine the existing MSDS if there is one and update it to SDS taking care to consider whether the product needs reclassification. They examine whether the SDS issued by a supplier is sufficient or whether the importer/user needs to develop the SDS on his own. The assistance includes preparation of SDS GHS labels in addition to electronic conversion for easy access online or on portable devices. Training to employees in interpreting new SDS and labels goes hand in hand with providing expert consultations on how to manage the transition to current standards and documentation in a painless manner. With ICSDS to help there is no need to worry about timely compliances. Also, there is no need for manufacturers or importers to try to figure out the complex regulations on their own. ICSDS helps. This help even extends to providing guidance on maintaining and managing the library of SDS and updating it in future if and when required.

One cannot escape compliance with HazCom 2012 and SDS must be prepared. Getting them done by experts offers innumerable advantages in the short and long term.

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