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ERA's Environmental Compliance Management Blog

Industry experts weigh in on new and buzzworthy EHS news, giving you advice, insights, and best practices on the latest Environmental, Health & Safety regulations – providing everything you need to know for EHS compliance management. Get researched insights into EHS topics affecting your business.

We’re committed to helping companies like yours maintain safe, efficient, environmentally-conscious operations. Use the buttons below to find EH&S blog posts that match your specific interests. And if you don’t see the type of content you need, please let us know!

What is GDPR? Prepare Your Health & Safety Team For New Regulations

Posted by Carla Samuel

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation that specifies how to process and use the personal data of citizens in the European Union (EU) and companies holding the data of EU citizens. Because health and safety departments oftentimes hold a wide range of personal data including SIN numbers, home addresses, and phone numbers health and safety managers may be deemed responsible for data protection. Protections for personal information are usually handled by data controllers; however, health and safety managers of data may be considered a data controller by proxy. This article will give your H&S department a simple overview of how GDPR may affect their operations and responsibilities.

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Also posted in: ehs compliance, Health and Safety

WHMIS 2015 Transition to GHS Standards

Posted by Carla Samuel

The final phase transition of WHMIS 2015 is approaching, ending Phase 2 and entering Phase 3 on September 1st. After August 31, 2018 the transition to WHMIS 2015 is complete for manufacturers, importers, and distributors requiring MSDSs/SDSs and labels must be compliant to WHMIS 2015. Full implementation of WHMIS 2015 will be completed on December 1, 2018.

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Also posted in: SDS, SDS Document Management, SDS Authoring, GHS

Software Solutions for OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard

Posted by Carla Samuel

OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), also known as the “employee right-to-know” standard was developed to protect employees from exposure to hazardous products and chemicals. This standard requires all employers to develop a written program addressing labeling and warning requirements, material safety data sheets (M)SDSs, and employee training on hazardous materials.

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Also posted in: SDS, EHS Training, OSHA

How the U.S. EPA Audit Policy Assists Noncompliant Facilities

Posted by Carla Samuel

When it comes to meeting EPA requirements, many businesses may be afraid to submit their records. TRI Reporting is a regulatory necessity and a legal obligation for companies that use hazardous chemicals, and the EPA relies on accurate reporting.

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Also posted in: Emissions Management, TRI

Sustainability in the Automotive Industry

Posted by Carla Samuel

The Annex to the G7 Leaders’ June 8, 2015 Declaration noted that global raw material use rose during the 20th century at about twice the rate of population growth. This explosive increase in consumption has resulted in habitat destruction, biodiversity loss, overly stressed fisheries, and desertification. Industry leaders, governmental agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are working hard to tackle these issues with sustainability in creative ways—especially the automotive industry. Automotive manufacturers like Ford, GM, Honda, and Toyota are working to improve a host of environmental problems resulting from manufacturing through sustainability.

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Also posted in: Suppliers Partnership, Sustainability

Chemical Tracking in the Automotive Industry

Posted by Carla Samuel

It takes an estimated 10,000 chemicals to manufacture an automobile, many of which are left in the final product. Under REACH (Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) the automotive industry has a major challenge on its hands to communicate policies and regulations to a complex, global supply chain. Close to 3,000 suppliers work with vehicle manufacturers on products that may include more than 8,000 major components. The automotive supply chain typically has up to seven tiers, and direct suppliers to car manufacturers have up to 1,500 sub-suppliers spanning many continents. Therefore, when REACH regulations remove a chemical from these massive supply chains it can take a long time to implement. Advancements in the methods used to do chemical tracking through the supply chain are allowing the automobile industry to explore new opportunities and reduce negative environmental impacts. 

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Also posted in: Suppliers Partnership, SDS, SDS Authoring

Protect Trade Secret Ingredients in Chemical Products: HPR Amendment

Posted by Cindy Ranganathan

What is HPR (Hazardous Product Act)?

HPR is the shorthand reference for the Hazardous Products Act. As shown in the Canada Gazette Part II of February 11th, 2015, the Government of Canada published the HPR, bringing WHMIS 2015 (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System) into force. WHMIS 2015 implements the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). The new HPR replaces the older CPR, which had listed the requirements for WHMIS 1988 compliance.

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Also posted in: SDS, SDS Authoring, GHS

Tips for EPA TRI Reporting and EHS Data Management: Solvent Recycling

Posted by Jenna Hamilton

One of the most common processes we see in the manufacturing industry is the application of paints, top coats, and primers using an applicator spray gun / paint line. From an environmental reporting perspective, EHS professionals are usually well versed in how to calculate air emissions from the actual paint application using factors like application efficiency rate and so forth. However, there is an element of these processes that often trips up air emission reporters: solvent recovery and the resulting waste reporting and air emission credits.

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Also posted in: Environmental Compliance & Data Management, TRI

Reading an SDS: Key SDS Sections to Review for New Chemical Products

Posted by Francis Haley

Why It's Important to Read an SDS When Using a Material for the First Time

Occasionally, a plant manager will find themselves asking how to read an SDS in facing one or more of these scenarios:

 

  • Plant workers are informed of a new chemical material to be used in the production process.
  • A maintenance worker starts a new assignment with specific cleaning materials.
  • A trial material is introduced to a process to improve its efficiency.
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Also posted in: SDS Authoring, GHS

Incident Management System: Frequently Asked Questions

Posted by Ehsan Maghsoudi, Ph.D.

Incident Management System FAQ: What Safety Managers Need to Know

Recently, ERA hosted a webinar about OSHA compliance for workplace incidents that focused on Incident Management Systems and automation. Our attendees submitted some of their most pressing questions, and ERA's safety experts have added in some of the most incident management frequently asked questions (FAQs) that they come across. They also touch upon the new OSHA Electronic Reporting Requirements that have rolled into effect. This short article compiles all of their answers for your convenience.

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Also posted in: Health and Safety