Rust-Oleum Europe Addresses EU Compliance Deadlines with Standardized Safety Data Sheets and Labels


Courtesy of Courtesy of IHS

Rust-Oleum Europe is part of RPM International Inc., one of the world’s largest paint manufacturers. RPM employs approximately 10,000 workers in 94 plants across 22 countries and sells its products in 150 countries worldwide. As a multi-national business unit, Rust-Oleum Europe is committed to complying with all of the different laws and regulations of the European Union countries where its 2,000 dealers are located. “The greatest challenge for our department, is meeting the requirements of new and increasingly complex environmental, health and safety (EHS) regulations across the EU,” said Els Peeters, Regulatory and Product Stewardship for Rust-Oleum Europe. “We are also always trying to go beyond compliance and promote standardization – to make our operations more efficient and help us drive.”

The company has been able to accomplish all of these goals by automating the production and management of its Data Safety Sheet information (SDS) and label texts with IHS Intelligent Authoring and IHS Datalink software – which are both part of the IHS Product Stewardship Solution. “Safety Data Sheets are the cornerstone of compliance for a number of standards in Europe and around the world,” Peeters explained. “They have also become key documents through the supply chain. They convey information on the manufacture, composition, health and physical hazards, safe handling procedures, transport, storage and disposal of chemicals to downstream users and emergency responders. Unfortunately, SDS are so rich in data that it must be manually mined and put into a useful format, which can be a time-consuming task.”

Rust-Oleum Europe has been successfully using IHS software to author and manage SDSs at some of its facilities since 2007. In 2012, however, the company raced to clear a major new compliance hurdle by reformatting all of the SDSs for all of its mixtures – as required under Annex II Regulation 1907/2006/EC of REACH – EU’s regulation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. REACH requires companies in the EU to provide information on the risks posed by their substances and how they should be handled throughout the production chain. If companies cannot comply with the regulation, they cannot ship their materials anywhere in the EU. Peeters’ team met its December 1, 2012 deadline by reformatting more than 1,500 individual SDSs in 16 languages in a matter of months.

“Intelligent Authoring is complete and easy to use so we were able to perform this huge task in a limited time and on schedule. Its broad selection of languages was especially important,” Peeters recalled. “Our previous system only offered 3 languages. If we did not have all of 16 languages in this system, we’d have to get our SDSs translated, which takes time and money.”

The Challenges

  • Maintain right to sell products to target markets by ensuring compliance with EU regulations
  • Provide SDS information in multiple languages

The Solution

  • IHS Product Stewardship Solution with IHS Intelligent Authoring & IHS Datalink

The Results

  • Reformatted more than 1,500 SDSs
  • Translated SDSs and labels into 16 languages
  • Met 2012 deadline for compliance with EU REACH Annex II
  • Began reclassifying products for compliance with 2015 EU CLP deadline
  • Improved customer service and support with ability to turn around SDSs quickly

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