Accurate MSDSs and HazMat Inventory Improve Compliance

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Courtesy of Courtesy of 3E Company

In the HazMat world today, most large organizations follow a time-honored process for identifying critical compliance needs and spend the money necessary to make it work. It is a process that tilts the compliance board in advantage of the bigger players. The challenge today for organizations is to effectively manage their entire chemical inventory so they can stay in compliance and avoid the dangers, fines and fees associated with not doing so.

It starts with a sophisticated purchasing or procurement system, usually with a module that enables EH&S staff to review and approve all incoming hazardous items. Nothing arrives into a big company unnoticed. Next, the chemical or product is tracked through some type of bar code or RFID tagged inventory management system, and data on its location and specific usage is recorded.

MSDS’s are obtained and tracked, using a sophisticated document and data management system that is tied into procurement and chemical tracking. At the end of all this, compliance reports required by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and local agencies are generated and submitted, usually electronically. Then management plans are made or modified, staff are trained or re-trained and the company moves forward safely until the next monthly review period.

This utopian view of compliance management has been practiced for so long in so many high-profile companies that it has become the de facto process for managing compliance. In the world most EH&S managers live in, however, the tools and resources just described do not exist. Companies today are forced to manage HazMat with limited budgets, staff, tools and systems.

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