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ERA's Environmental Compliance Management Blog

Our EH&S blog is your go-to source for industry news, advice, and compliance information. With each post, our team of experts (advanced degree holders in chemistry, environmental science, management, and more) maps out today’s most pressing EH&S issues. We also try to keep things interesting!

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!

GHS Compliance Spotlight: Aerosols under WHMIS 2015 and OSHA 2012

Posted by Nour Ghazal

Manufacturers around the globe have noticed an uptick in the demand for aerosol products – and if you are a user of aerosol products or a manufacturer, you might find yourself surprised at how the switch in North America to the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) has affected the requirements for workplace safety compliance. Our chemical safety specialists have taken a deep-dive into these regulations and this article will give you a straight-forward and condensed guide with everything you need to know.

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

Secondary Container Labels 101: HazCom and WHMIS

Posted by Alexandra McDougall

Compliance with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) is about more than just authoring SDSs (Safety Data Sheets) and making sure your staff knows how to read them, it also includes an important component about ensuring that safety data is available throughout your facility on any secondary containers used to store a hazardous material.

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

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

Swinging into Action - How a Properly Authored SDS Delivers

Posted by Lorcan Archer

Looking beyond the importance of regulations and training exercises, the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is the document that you turn to when things go wrong at your facility.

The purpose of the document is to provide a summary of information related to the hazards posed by a product, as well as advice on safety precautions. This means that it is the SDS that you reach for when a there is a spill or leak incident, an unintended chemical reaction, or if a fire breaks out. These situations can range across every possibility, but if there’s one document you can turn to – it should be your SDS.

This article will attempt to outline how a properly authored SDS can go a long way to meeting your most pressing needs in an emergency scenario.  

No facility or company wants to go down the path of a major incident, and to confront the human and financial cost that such an incident can cause.  A comprehensively authored SDS will allow this to sort of situation to be nipped in the bud. 

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Also posted in: SDS Authoring, GHS

SDS Automation - How to Meet Your Deadlines

Posted by Lorcan Archer

Automation is a buzzword that’s been in constant use across numerous industries in recent years, especially in manufacturing. It’s being discussed as a technology that will continue to revolutionize our economies by introducing reliable computer-based solutions for repetitive tasks.

In the context of Safety Data Sheet (SDS) Authoring for hazardous goods and chemicals, automation refers to software rapidly carrying out the completion of logic processes required for creating SDSs. This largely consists of cutting out any aspect of redundancy and logically resolving decisions within the authoring process. Correctly implemented, this will deliver an error-free document more rapidly and efficiently.

Automation’s application to SDS Authoring in the form of smarter software is already a proven benefit to many companies. It saves time, money, and is more accurate due to the elimination of human errors.

This article will outline the business benefits that automating SDS authoring can deliver at your business. You might be surprised at the number of areas where positive changes can be observed.

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Also posted in: SDS Authoring, GHS

Life Cycle of an SDS - Smoothing Your Pain Points

Posted by Lorcan Archer

The production of a document that’s as key as a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) can be a complex affair.

In order to satisfy its function, an SDS needs to satisfy a range of requirements: from accurate, GHS-compliant hazard communication, to clearly understandable content and language, and the correct procedures to implement in the case of a spill or human exposure.

Part of the challenge of the production of a sufficiently well-written SDS is that it involves a degree of collaboration between the supplier who will have produced the substance or mixture, and the company using, storing or otherwise employing the substance. The specificity of the chemicals directly correspond to the safety measures that need to be taken, and as such, directly affect the accuracy of the SDS document.

This article will attempt to outline the specific challenges, or pain-points, that should be taken into account when producing an SDS, as well as suggesting practical ways in which to overcome these challenges. 

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Also posted in: SDS Authoring, GHS

No Magic Solution – How GHS Adoption Won’t Solve All Your SDS Authoring Issues

Posted by Lorcan Archer

Manufacturers and producers in both the United States and Canada will, by now, be well aware of the standardization in hazard communication that the newly adopted Globally Harmonized System (GHS) pushes. 

As a set of hazardous symbols and warnings, it will bring the hazardous materials documentation of an increasing number of countries broadly into line with each other. 

However, the operative word here is “broadly”. The intent of the GHS is to act as a unified way of indicating hazardous symbols, but it does not act as a comprehensive system to regulate all aspects of risk management.

This means that a company that moves towards an SDS Authoring solution that is GHS-compliant will have made a strong move towards regulatory compliance. It does not mean that company will have satisfied all aspects required of them in their safety documentation, especially if they have only carried out a “once-off” realignment.

To further explore the grey areas where threats to your overall compliance still remain, this article will examine the various challenges that can undermine your efforts to stay in line.

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Also posted in: SDS Authoring, GHS

GHS Turbulence Ahead: Transportation and Shipping Concerns in SDS Authoring

Posted by Lorcan Archer

With the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) now officially in place as the standard for the labelling of hazardous chemicals across the US, Canada is preparing to adopt the system in 2017. It’s an indication that regulations regarding hazardous warnings have taken a great stride towards standardization.

However, there are aspects to the laws governing the transportation of hazardous goods that are not fully covered by the GHS provisions.

Produced materials simply need to be transported to where they’re required – this is the essential nature of any produced chemicals. The challenge therefore is staying compliant with the rules of the territory where the goods will be travelling through, and the ultimate location where they will be used.  

This article will explore the ins and outs of transportation regulations, the web of requirements that need to be respected, and how you can more easily achieve authoring compliance throughout all stages of the transportation process.

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Also posted in: SDS Authoring, GHS

Lost in Translation: Language Challenges in SDS Authoring

Posted by Lorcan Archer

As we move closer and closer to the GHS transition date in Canada, there is an understandable level of scrutiny being placed on SDS Authoring in North America.

Many companies will certainly be going through the self-assessment process. Are we still in compliance? How does this affect us? Are there aspects to the changeover that we haven’t anticipated?  The overall concern will be staying firmly in-line with regulations. 

The move towards GHS compliance in both the US and Canada adds these countries to a growing list of developed states that have embraced the UN-brokered system.

There is, however, an aspect that even the standardizing power of the GHS cannot fully resolve. It’s an elemental issue; the language differences between countries and regions. Even with the standardization that the GHS brings, there are specific aspects to SDS use involving language that are of paramount importance.

The SDS language laws governing language use on your SDSs, especially in the export/import process, can be absolutely crucial. In this article, we’ll look the range of pressing factors that companies need to overcome in order to achieve compliance.

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Also posted in: SDS Authoring

Elite EPA Policy Makers and Environmental Thought Leaders Take Centre Stage at EHS Ingenuity at Work Conference

Posted by Alex Chamberlain

ERA Environmental Management Solutions, the leading world-class provider of global environment, health and safety software solutions is celebrating its 20th business anniversary by hosting the EHS Ingenuity at Work Conference on May 2nd to May 4th in Charlotte, NC. The EH&S Compliance Ingenuity at Work Conference is the meeting place for Environmental Health & Safety professionals. This 3-day conference is all about bringing together the best minds and environmental leaders in the manufacturing industry to discuss best practices, proactively address emerging challenges, and discover new EH&S solutions.

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Also posted in: TRI, EMS, EHS Training, BPM, EHS, EHS Conference, ehs compliance, regulatory reporting, SDS Document Management, Health and Safety, SDS Authoring, EHS Workshops