J.M. Huber Corporation Relies on 3E Company to Author Compliant Multiple-language MSDSs
J.M. Huber Corporation is a diversified, multinational supplier of engineered materials, natural resources and technology-based services to customers spanning many industries, from paper and energy to plastics and construction.
One of the largest family-owned companies in America, Huber is built on a tradition of strong customer relationships, high ethical standards and technology leadership. Wherever Huber operates, its commitment to the environment follows. The Company practices responsible environmental stewardship by participating in a wide range of initiatives that reflect Huber’s respect for the earth’s resources. The Company prides itself on its strong environmental stewardship program, of which environmental health and safety (EH&S) regulatory compliance is a critical component. It recognizes that effective, compliant and up-to-date Hazard Communication documents are not only a global requirement, but serve as the critical centerpiece for enabling effective product stewardship practices throughout their products’ various lifecycles.
J.M. Huber’s innovative products and services are used around the world, including in the United States, China, Europe and Mexico. The Company employs a detailed and effective strategy to achieve and maintain global EH&S regulatory compliance. An integral part of this strategy is providing distributors and users with consistent and compliant hazard communication documents, including Safety Data Sheets (SDS).
“Since we supply our products to countries around the globe, we must offer accurate and reliable SDSs that are compliant in the various countries we serve,” said Paul Newcomb, CSP, CHMM, Director of Regulatory Affairs, J.M. Huber Corporation. “As you can imagine, this can be quite a challenge as all of our documents must be translated into dozens of different languages.”
Adding to the challenge is the fact that the documents not only need to be translated, but also must be customized to comply with each country’s regulations. With the scope of existing regulations frequently changing, and new regulations being introduced, achieving global compliance can be a daunting challenge.
“I would say that keeping up with the various regulations was one of our biggest headaches,” said Mr. Newcomb. “We would have to regularly research each country’s requirements, and then constantly review the regulations to make sure nothing has changed. It took an enormous amount of time, and we still weren’t 100% confident that we were in compliance.”
A New Authoring Strategy
Mr. Newcomb began researching alternatives, and briefly used a common MSDS authoring software package. There were problems with the solution, however, including inaccurate translations of phrases, so Mr. Newcomb quickly began seeking a more reliable system. He ultimately selected 3E Company’s 3E Authoring service, and began working with 3E’s team of multi-lingual, highly qualified authors to retranslate all of Huber’s SDSs.
The 3E Authoring Team began reviewing and retranslating Huber’s thousands of SDSs into more than 30 languages/formats to ensure that they were authored consistently and in compliance with the regulations governing the countries in which Huber conducts business.
''The scope of our initial project with 3E Company was enormous – we were previously using one SDS for multiple products, so we had dozens of new SDSs that needed to be created from scratch. In addition, almost all of our existing English language SDSs needed to be re-translated into multiple languages,” said Mr. Newcomb.
The 3E Authoring Team worked quickly and efficiently on this project and also began creating templates for each of Huber’s various international locations to use. Now that a reliable and consistent foundation has been built, the project is in maintenance mode. Huber relies on 3E Company to author any new safety data sheets they may need; 3E Company also monitors regulations around the world to ensure that Huber’s SDSs are in compliance.
“Our 3E team is extremely knowledgeable and we trust them completely to provide us with accurate and compliant SDSs,” said Mr. Newcomb. “I have been very impressed with the quality of their work and the expertise of their authors. Accurate translation is incredibly difficult since there are hundreds of different ways of saying the same thing. Working with 3E is great because they have local translators who are familiar with the various dialects within the country. They are able to customize our sheets for our target markets and ensure that we are compliant.”
REACHing for Compliance
Huber has also relied on 3E Company to guide them with SDSs as they go through the complex REACH pre-registration process. “We value 3E’s advice on SDS compliance with REACH,” said Mr. Newcomb. “We are currently working with 3E on our SDSs as we submit registrations for our substances.”
Huber’s Marble Falls plant also relies on 3E to simplify their EH&S regulatory compliance program. The site employs 3E’s suite of emergency response (ER) services, which provide a single source for immediate access to EH&S information and resources 24-7-365 to simplify the ER process and reduce risk. The site also uses 3E MSDS On Demand, which offers employees 24-7-365 access to live professionals and the entire 3E database of millions of MSDSs, which are sent via email or fax directly to employees or other related callers.
Since outsourcing SDS authoring to 3E Company, Huber has recognized several benefits, including improved liability and risk management, heightened cost efficiency and control and increased productivity.
“Using 3E’s 3E Authoring service saves us so much time. Every time one of our SDSs is changed, all of the corresponding sheets need to be revised as well - in several different languages!” said Mr. Newcomb. “Being able to outsource that stress and burden is a tremendous relief. We have been very happy with the service and the quality of the work that our 3E team provides.”
The 3E team has also been very quick to adapt to any internal changes at Huber. “We’ve been using the Authoring service for several years now. Naturally, we’ve had some significant internal changes during that time, ranging from technology challenges like new servers, to opening new offices or plants,” said Mr. Newcomb. “3E has always been very good about dealing with these issues. We have a great partnership and look forward to working with them in the future.”