Whether you conduct research in a small-scale laboratory or formulate consumer products in a large factory, keeping an accurate and updated chemical inventory is a must. Good chemical inventory management not only safeguards the health and well-being of your employees, but also reduces unnecessary expenses by preventing redundant purchases of chemicals. The best way to keep track of all the chemicals that are being produced or consumed by your organization is to use an online, cloud-based chemical inventory management system. Aside from allowing organizations to track their chemicals from delivery to disposal, chemical inventory software allows users to access the safety data sheets (SDS) issued by major chemical manufacturers. Understanding the importance of complying with OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard is the first step to fully appreciating the capabilities of chemical inventory management software.
Managed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires all employers to disclose toxic and hazardous substances in the workplace. The HCS ensures that employees have unrestricted access to safety data sheets. Employees should also receive the required training to handle all hazardous chemical substances safely. The latest SDSs are universally standardized following the HCS’ alignment with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). This ensures that workers around the world have access to critical information in a coherent and uniform format.
The following are the top four ways chemical inventory software improves inventory management and compliance with OSHA regulations:
1. Digitally tracking the movement of chemicals.
An important part of managing toxic and hazardous chemicals is monitoring their movement throughout the supply chain. Chemical inventory software provides digital tracking, enabling users to track containers from ordering to disposal. Once digitized, chemical containers can be tracked using barcodes, RFID, and other unique identifiers.
2. Managing current stock with integrated documentation.
Great chemical inventory management can positively impact the bottom-line. If chemical inventory is not actively tracked, things are likely to be misplaced on the production floor, leading to unnecessary replacement purchases. With fully integrated documentation features, users can keep track of the precise locations of all their chemical inventory. They can also coordinate and keep tabs on container ownership, stock levels, expiration dates, and other important features.
3. Safeguarding employees with SDS integration.
The HCS requires that all employees working with or in close proximity to hazardous chemicals have access to the relevant safety data sheets. The information found on such sheets might include instructions for the safe use of chemical products, the potential hazards associated with each chemical product, and the correct spill-handling procedures for each chemical product. Chemical Inventory software supports SDS Integration, ensuring that all registered users can connect with the SDSs issued by the major chemical manufacturers.
4. Seamless cooperation with other EH&S management software.
For an organization’s enhanced safety, it is important to select a chemical inventory software that has the capacity to interact with other key EH&S initiatives and their corresponding modules. These include Hazard & PPE Assessment Modules, Hazardous Waste Management Modules, and Radiation Safety Modules, as EH&S regulations managed by such software will often overlap with an organization’s chemical inventory.
To improve an organization’s bottom-line and enhance overall EH&S programs, a dynamic chemical inventory and SDS integrations software system is the choice tool. This software also ensures companies stay compliant with every HCS mandate. Maintaining a full and complete list of all the hazardous chemicals that are present in the workplace gives workers every opportunity to perform work safer and keeps employers from having to pay hefty fines.
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