No More Paper: The Benefits of Adopting an Online SDS Management System

A challenge many companies face is the lack of a centralized safety data sheet (SDS) system. Businesses with multiple departments and work sites must juggle their regulated materials between them, providing each location with copies of their needed SDSs. However, this paper system has several drawbacks. Updating SDSs becomes a time-consuming task as every copy at each location must be replaced with the new SDS. New chemicals brought in by different departments may not communicate their recent purchases, and an SDS may not be obtained, resulting in an instance of noncompliance. In the opposite scenario, departments that stop using materials may not know they are the only department who used that material, thus failing to notify anyone of the discontinued material, and the company continues to pay for SDSs they no longer need.

DECA’s Online SDS Management System is designed to reduce costs and centralize information that is otherwise spread out and not easy for everyone to access. There are unique advantages to switching from a hard-copy system to an online system:

Increased Productivity – Our online system updates SDSs automatically every 2 years and is easy to update to remain in compliance. This functionality reduces the amount of time employees spend looking for and updating each copy of an SDS. A business with multiple locations need not worry about each work site updating their SDSs; the SDS system updates for everyone everywhere. We at DECA design each program around each clients’ specific requirements, accounting for the number and locations of departments, as well as SDS organizational structures. Businesses who review product information regularly for safety reasons also have better workflow when they can access all SDSs from one spot, and can quickly update incorrect information.

Decreased Cost – Instead of paying for each copy of an SDS, we index the entire inventory of chemicals used throughout a company and charge by number of unique SDSs, not per location or number of persons accessing the company’s set of SDSs. Our online system also allows SDSs of unused chemicals to be archived, which removes them from the company’s bill; however, the information will still be accessible in case the material comes back into use.

Unlimited Users and Administrators – We do not restrict the number of users on a system unless our client requires it, then we tailor accessibility to their needs. Fees are also not affected by the number of users or points of access—the goal of the system is to be accessible on any computer or mobile device anywhere in the world with internet access. Users can download a copy of their information onto a computer (we suggest updating downloads once a week to ensure relevancy).

Multiple Language Options – For our many clients who have non-English speaking employees, we provide the ability to set up their online system in multiple languages. There should be no barriers keeping employees from being safe. However, SDSs will be published in the language they are written in, as they are created by the material manufacturers, not us.

Ease of Training – Employees can use our system after 10 minutes of training. We make it easy to refresh their knowledge base as well with our online training materials, and we provide personalized online and onsite training if desired. Our multiple training outlets allow employees to be trained in ways that work best for our clients.

Better Safety – Dangerous chemicals can be identified much faster with our online system. We index 35 fields of data so it is easy to search for CAS, NFPA, and GHS related items. During an audit, safety professionals looking for flammable chemicals can also search by terms and classifications, without having to visit each department. A centralized, searchable database makes it much faster to determine the risk of chemicals in a facility.

Ensured Compliance – Our online SDS system is accepted by OSHA as a viable method to maintain SDS systems. Our clients can more readily track and test their compliance status, and avoid potential violations, fines and headaches!

Convenient Printing of Secondary Container Labels – Printing labels for regulated substances’ containers should not be a time-consuming task for our clients who need to transfer chemicals from one vessel to another.  Printing secondary GHS labels is easy with our online SDS program, and helps keep our clients in compliance with OSHA.

Businesses save on time and money with more efficient and organized management systems. Our clients find tremendous value in our online system, and do not miss dealing with the mess of their old SDS hard-copy paper systems. Read a client’s perspective on the value our online system gave to his company here. For more information about how our online SDS management system reduces costs and provides a robust tool for staying compliant, visit or call our office at 317-575-0095.