Is Your Company Compliant?
The changes to the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) are significant, but with the proper train- ing and organization, they’re completely manageable. If you’re feeling the crunch, MySDS is your solution.
MySDS is a Sudbury-based safety data sheet (SDS) hosting and management service that can also perform audits to ensure compliance, and even engage you and your staff in training and education programs to prepare for the changes and stay up to date.
“WHMIS 2015 has changed the land- scape here in Canada,” said Mike Moel- lenkamp, the founder, president and owner of MySDS. “You need to be proactive and that’s what MySDS is for.”
A lot has changed since WHMIS came into effect in 1988 to ensure employers and workers have the information they need about hazardous products and chemicals and how to reduce workplace illnesses and injuries. The 2015 updates ensure Canada is meeting international standards, and complying with the Globally Harmonized System (GHS).
Some changes are straightforward: like labels using pictograms instead of symbols to make them easier to understand, and presenting information consistently from supplier to supplier.
Other changes involve an overhaul of old systems. When WHMIS 2015 comes into effect, the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) required by WHMIS starting in 1988 and onwards will become obsolete, and SDSs will become the new norm. The new system is safer and more efficient in how it operates – the new format won’t expire, for example – but that doesn’t mean it won’t change at all. The names and formulations of different chemicals could still change and it’s up to employers to tune in and update their SDS libraries and train their staff in response to any changes. That is, unless you get MySDS.ca to take care of that for you.
That’s ultimately what MySDS is all about: doing ALL of the work for you. “MySDS allows the customer to have a hands-off experience; they don’t have to dedicate an employee and have that employee utilize all their time on updating and maintaining all those safety data sheets. MySDS does all that for them,” said Moellenkamp.
In fact, MySDS emerged from Moellenkamp’s own frustrations with trying to stay compliant when he was on the other side of the issue. Before founding MySDS, Moellenkamp took on health and safety roles in a variety of positions, in a variety of fields, and then founded Sudbury-based Green
Lights Environmental (GLE) eight years ago. The waste management, training and compliance company has become a local leader in health and safety.
At GLE, Moellenkamp realized there was the need for a service that could manage SDSs and ensure compliance that was straightforward and affordable. The services he found weren’t Canadian, were very expensive, or didn’t manage SDSs effectively. With the desire to create a service that did the job better, MySDS.ca was born in 2015. Since then, Moellenkamp and his team have been testing and streamlining the service to get it to where it is today.
MySDS is able to help you meet global standards, but they do it with a unique approach. “We are the only Canadian company based in Northern Ontario that offers a service such as this,” explained Moellen- kamp. “Being from Northern Ontario, we understand the need for this type of service to be fairly flexible – your work is never just behind the office door. The service you have here is portable.”
For example, Moellenkamp recently had a local company start using MySDS on their worksites around the world. Not only does MySDS have a broad geo- graphical range, it’s also suited to the broad range of industries subject to WHMIS 2015. As Moellenkamp says, “There isn’t an in- dustry that doesn’t require this service!” MySDS is currently utilized by educa- tional, institutional, commercial and even government clients.
Ultimately, MySDS aims for the same thing WHMIS 2015 does: to keep employ- ers and workers safe and free from injury and illness in the workplace. And, they look to do that as efficiently as possible, and as affordably as possible. “You can’t put a price tag on safety, but we can easily make that a smaller price tag,” said Moellenkamp.
With Dec. 1 fast approaching, Moellen- kamp expects to see a rush as employers wrap up loose ends to comply with WHMIS 2015. But the job won’t be over Dec. 2: stay- ing compliant is an ongoing process, and one MySDS can help with, too. “With the MySDS safety team, we have the ability and expertise to come in and help those customers through that final transition period, from what signage they need to WHMIS training programs to coming in and doing inventory, audits, or disposal,” explained Moellenkamp.
At the end of the day, Moellenkamp said he hopes people will come to recognize MySDS.ca as the service to rely on when it comes to WHMIS. “You hire a plumber to do the plumbing, you hire an electrician to do the electrical,” he said, “and now, you can hire MySDS.ca to do your WHMIS management.”