Safety data sheet software makes the task of managing a large number of SDS pages easier and more efficient for companies who must keep them accessible. There are various types of SDS authoring software available that enable not only the creation of new sheets, but also provide web-based cataloging for easier management and disbursal.
Yet regardless of the conveniences that SDS software offers, it is important that a business understands that they must still keep safety sheets available in hard copy form.
Benefits to Internet-Based SDS Solutions
Using an Internet-based system to store and manage SDS provides a business with many advantages. To begin with, the creation and management of these forms is much easier when using the SDS authoring software included in these systems. A company can quickly and easily print or update existing forms as well as create new ones as needed with only a few clicks and keystrokes.
Sheets are then stored in an easy-to-use cloud-based index system that allows access from multiple company locations. It also ensures that all locations have the historical and most updated versions of all stored SDS.
When indexed in this manner, searching is much faster and no longer involves flipping through many paper pages to find required data information. Overall, web-based catalogs of SDS gives employees more capabilities than working with hard copies ever did.
Maintaining Compliance with Web-Based Indexes
Although online safety data sheet software systems provide many conveniences including the benefit of a highly organized and searchable index, they do present one main compliance issue. A primary requirement of any system that is used to manage these sheets is to always be accessible to all employees.
What this means for electronic systems is that employees must have access to a computer that will allow them to log into the SDS software at needed, so they can search and pull up the sheets when and where they are needed.
For the most part, employers can easily comply with this need by ensuring there are enough devices available so all locations and departments can access the index. The challenge arises when internet connections fail to work or power outages prevent access.
Binders Still Required
Since the whole purpose of maintaining a database of safety data sheets is to ensure there is always access when needed, compliance requires a company to create a plan for providing access even if the power goes out or the internet does not connect. Based on this one concern, most companies must still maintain hard copy binders to remain in compliance.
Even though binders may not be used so much once a company begins to use SDS authoring software, they must still be available and accessible. All employees must have access the same as an electronic device that can access the online database. These binders must also be updated with all previous and new versions of safety sheets as they are released.
Considering that businesses using software must still keep their binders, is it worth investing in these solutions? Most companies say that it is, since safety data sheet software provides them with an easier way to manage their sheets to stay in compliance, even if they still need to keep updated binders. Maintaining the on-site binders represents a relatively small percentage of how SDS authoring software is used on a day-to-day basis. Even with the task of keeping up hardcopy binders, SDS software makes maintaining compliance more efficient!