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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!

New Changes to the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO)

Posted by Carla Samuel

According to Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO) the regulation, all hazardous chemicals, including substance with explosibility, flammability, oxidability, corrosivity, health-toxicology and eco-toxicology, shall obtain the HSNO approval No. prior to being manufactured or imported in New Zealand. The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) ensures that manufacturers and importers of Hazardous Substances have the appropriate HSNO approval, correct label, packaging and SDS for their substance, and comply with allowable limits (and bans) of certain Hazardous Substances within products.

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Also posted in: SDS

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: GHS, SDS, SDS Authoring, SDS Document Management

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

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 Authoring, SDS

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: GHS, SDS Authoring, SDS

How to Know Which Personal Protection to Wear: Dress for Success and Safety

Posted by Alison Fraser

How a Safety Data Sheet Tells You What Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Use

The dress code for safety should never be unclear. Knowing which personal protective equipment (PPE) to wear when handling a hazardous material is essential for working safely and preventing adverse health effects in the workplace.

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Also posted in: SDS, Health and Safety

SDS Section Spotlight: Toxicological and Ecological Information

Posted by Alison Fraser

Safety data sheets (SDS) are an essential first-line resource in the workplace, protecting workers and the environment by ensuring all stakeholders are well-informed. Under the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), the sixteen sections of an SDS contain a wide range of information for workers, managers, and specialists. Knowing how to read and understand an SDS is of vital importance at every level of operations.

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Also posted in: SDS

How to Read an SDS: Understanding your Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for Safe Handling

Posted by Francis Haley

What is Your SDS Telling You About the Product You Are Using?

When working with hazardous materials, it is important to be alert to the specific nature of the dangers that are posed by those materials. This also means it is important to identify and differentiate one hazardous material from another in order to effectively apply precautionary measures. Knowing how to read an SDS is a must for managers, executives, and their employees.

Health & Safety professionals know that the ability to understand and read a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is a fundamental skill for any workplace committed to employee safety.

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Also posted in: SDS

Everything You Need to Know About Safety Data Sheets (SDS) in an Emergency

Posted by Francis Haley

“How does your SDS help in an emergency?”

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Also posted in: SDS Authoring, SDS

Hazardous Air Pollutants List: Potential Addition and Why It Matters

Posted by Lorcan Archer

 In December of 2016, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a draft notice related to approving petition(s) to add a chemical by the name of n-propyl bromide (nPB – also referred to to as 1-bromopropane) to the Hazardous Air Pollutants list.

The HAP list is a key regulatory document. It is a live list of 187 hazardous air pollutants, which the EPA must regulate under the requirements of the Clean Air Act.

The potential addition of a new substance to this list is real regulatory news. There has not been any new addition to the list for over five years. nPB, with uses as an industrial solvent in asphalt production, de-greasing products and synthetic fiber production, has recently been suggested for inclusion on the list - not least due to its carcinogenic properties.

The addition of a new chemical to this list will be of concern to any commercial organizations or businesses that use nPB today. Given the broad number of industrial uses of nPB, the revision of a user’s safety procedures, documentation and reporting processes will be necessary if the chemical is indeed added to the HAP list.         

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Also posted in: EHS Training, SDS, Environmental Compliance & Data Management