February 13, 2020 / Angela Oler, ASQ, CQA

The Benefits of Understanding Safety Data Sheets for the Industrial Hygienist

As an industrial hygienist, you spend a lot of your time making data-driven decisions. Have you considered the impact of the traceability of the safety data sheets (SDSs) you use to protect your workers? SDSs contain a wealth of information that needs to be evaluated, but who’s writing and reviewing them? Is it someone who has been recognized as a Safety Data Sheet Registered Professional (SDSRPTM)—an expert in their area of practice?

The SDSRP designation may not be widely recognizable yet, but it is a very important and unique program in the world of hazard communication. It is the only credential that focuses on assessing the skills and knowledge individuals need to properly prepare or review SDSs and labels to meet GHS requirements. The only way to earn the designation is to qualify for and pass all parts of the exam.

Why is the SDS and Label Authoring Registry important, and how does it relate to the day-to-day work of industrial hygienists?

At a minimum, it is incredibly important to know the qualifications of those writing and reviewing SDSs and labels. The SDSRP designation provides an easy way to ensure authors have a minimum level of education and experience. In addition, all authors must maintain their level of competence through ongoing credential maintenance.

Industrial hygienists can benefit from the SDS and Label Authoring Registry in several ways, according to Angela Wheeler, MSc, CIH, CRSP, SDSRP.

“Familiarity with the information outlined in the SDS and Label Authoring Registry’s Body of Knowledge can give industrial hygienists a deeper understanding of the classification process and all the different types of hazards, and give them a greater appreciation of the SDS data,” Wheeler says. “IHs looking at an SDS with purpose will understand how to take the value from the SDS and then apply that to their operation for the protection of workers.”

Wheeler adds that IHs can use the data found in SDSs for purposes including chemical risk assessments, enhancing the implementation of their HAZCOM/WHMIS program, and better understanding the toxicology behind their company’s chemical inventory. SDS authorship also complements a chemical producer’s duty to provide sound information to their end users and emergency and medical personnel, Wheeler says.

Who would benefit by taking the SDS and Label Authoring Competency Assessment?

Anyone who writes or reviews SDSs and labels will benefit by testing their knowledge and skills. Earning the SDSRP designation is a distinguishing factor when dealing with clients, customers, and the community, while also being beneficial to the SDSRP’s career.

Take a moment to become familiar with the SDS and Label Authoring Registry and see how you can benefit from an SDSRP’s depth of knowledge in the development of safety data sheets and labels.

Angela Oler, ASQ, CQA

Angela Oler is Director of AIHA Registry Programs, LLC.


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