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Safety Management Insights

Safety 2014 Expo: What You Should Know About PSM, MSDS and More

Posted by Don Brown on Jul 7, 2014 8:30:20 AM

ASSE_ConferenceDid you miss the country’s largest safety show earlier this month?

BasicSafe was there (and not just because we wanted to enjoy all the attractions Orlando has to offer.) Safety 2014, sponsored by the American Society of Safety Engineers, has grown to more than 500 companies, so it’s a great way to see what’s new in safety management.

Here’s what we noticed at this year’s Safety 2014 expo:

A Growing Demand for Safety Software

Since BasicSafe started in 2004, we’ve seen more and more safety software programs introduced to the market. Some of them are integrated safety databases like ours, but these tend to have a focus aimed at mainly providing high level management reports —and often, they’re much more expensive. BasicSafe continues to maintain a focus on getting access to information and training to frontline workers in order to prevent incidents from occurring.

Then there are individual programs for managing materials safety data sheets, lockout/tagout, job safety analysis and other administrative functions. They range from as low as a $400 a year to as much as $12,000 for a single function.

One service that manages only MSDS, for instance, costs nearly $6,000 for a year, and that’s just a single function.

The fact that there are so many offerings now compared to when we started 10 years ago really speaks to the need companies have to manage all their safety-related documents in one place, and we know the demand will continue to grow.

There are so many offerings for individual programs and tools that it’s getting overwhelming, so safety managers and human resource managers are increasingly looking for a single solution.

Companies Working to Comply with New MSDS Standards

 The Occupational Health & Safety Administration has rolled out the new Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), so companies everywhere are focusing on how to ensure compliance.

As you know, that means it’s time to do away with the old material safety data sheets (MSDS) and replace them with the new standardized format for all safety data sheets.

By now, all employees should have received the minimum training in the new labeling and safety data sheets.

By June 1 2015, all chemical manufacturers, importers, distributors and employers in that industry must comply with final labeling standards. All other employers have until the following year to update labeling and provide any additional training for newly identified hazards, according to OSHA requirements.

Updating all these records and managing the additional training is a significant undertaking for companies that still do it all manually. Our MSDS software makes it easier by allowing you to upload new forms, define areas where the chemicals are used, and index your files by these areas so they’re easy to sort. Employees can access them from anywhere, so you won’t have to print off massive stacks of paper to update all those binders throughout the company.

More Emphasis on Process Safety Management 

PSM is getting more attention lately, in part because OSHA seems to have stepped up its enforcement of it. Smaller companies have traditionally assumed they didn’t need it because they fall below the threshold at which it’s required, but a company of any size benefits from having a secure way to store these files.

BasicSafe’s PSM software incorporates all 14 elements OSHA specifies and notifies you when it’s time to audit or review them.

This includes everything from hot work permits to emergency planning and response, even your trade secrets.

Ten of our PSM elements use a standard design that makes them simple to use, requiring less training. Four of them are more interactive. Those modules are PSM Training, Management of Change, Incident Investigation and Pre-Start Up Safety Review (PSSR).

You can use our PSM software in conjunction with the BasicSafe Action Module so you can seamlessly take the next steps as you evaluate your files.

If there’s one thing that’s constant each year we attend safety conferences like this one, it’s that safety management is constantly evolving. If your company doesn’t have the most efficient processes in place to keep up with those changes, it’s easy to fall behind.

To learn more about how BasicSafe’s tools can help you keep up with industry changes, contact us today.

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