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Reviewing 2012 and Looking Forward to the New Year

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January 16, 2013David DonBlog

Through the various regional Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) Conferences I attended in 2012 – which included Kentucky, Virginia, Ohio, Maryland and Pennsylvania – there were some themes and comments from the many talented EH&S professionals I encountered.

Compliance, GHS adoption, transportation and waste requirements and regulatory reporting, continue to be very hot topics, and there seems to be a constant thirst for reliable and comprehensive information in these areas. The importance of this data cannot be understated; the accuracy, speed and ease of access of this critical information enables compliance to changing regulations. Understanding new regulations – whether it be GHS or REACH – and how to manage and comply with them is key. In 2013, resource allocation and taking advantage of available technology and outside expertise will becoming increasingly important as many companies struggle to focus on completing the core parts of their jobs with dwindling resources due to the continued challenging economic conditions. I encountered many who were now doing various jobs including security, safety, environmental, risk and human resources in some combination of each other.

These changing regulations – in particular GHS – have created a sense of urgency for many to move forward on programs and initiatives that were not previously prioritized.  This complex new standard has forced companies to acknowledge where their overall compliance is lacking, and has tasked them to move that forward. I found having a basic dialogue about these requirements and their implications on various industries seemed to take the fear out of compliance. In many cases, companies were relieved to know that there are reliable and robust resources available and they would not have to “go it alone.”  Many were not aware GHS’ re-classification requirements impacts their whole environmental footprint, not just the new SDS. These new requirements set off a trickle down affect that is felt in many areas and require proper planning and communication to address.

Some of the most valuable 3E resources that were discussed included: On-site Inventory Assessment for confirmation of current products and quantities which will be undergoing lots of changes; Revision Alert for detailed notification of changes on Safety Data Sheets (SDSs); Chemical Approval for managing products coming into a client’s location; and Chemical Classification for indexing several fields of data and 3E Online Service for managing your chemical inventory.

As the need for conformance grows, so do the various options to address them in the form of competition. There is tremendous financial pressure to address growing compliance requirements and regulations including GHS, but to do so at the lowest price. Many are shopping for the best bargain, not necessarily the best value especially for the long-term. When you choose to partner with an outsourced solution provider, we recommend shopping not just for the lowest cost provider, but the one that will help your company comply and deliver the value that you are currently looking for.

If you have any questions, please feel free to drop us a line – we are happy to help!