Now available with EHSM4.0: New Management of Chemicals for Health & Safety Processes
For the classic EH&S module of SAP´s ERP system a component extension has been introduced to better support health & safety related business processes as part of a company´s management of operational risks. The starting point was an incident management solution which allows managing preventively operational risks by complete recording and investigation of incidents.
With second release of this component extension the new Incident Management was enhanced by a Risk Assessment. Having both in one component allows evaluating the effectiveness of controls that are applied to prevent incidents as one step of the investigation, and to transfer the evaluation results to the risk assessment application. Based on these results, the responsible risk assessment lead can review the assessment data for all related risks. They can adapt the existing controls or define new controls to prevent similar incidents in the future.
Now the 4th version of EHSM component extension became available for customers. In this release the Incident management Component was completed and the Risk Assessment was enhanced by Control Inspections according to ISO3001 for Risk Assessment and by the possibility to integrate Risk Assessments with Occupational Health systems both from SAP or non-SAP. From a chemical industry point of view the major innovation here is now the introduction of a management of Chemicals for Health and Safety processes.
The Management of Chemicals for health & safety process comprises 2 main steps. The approval and introduction of a chemical and the assessment of related Risks including their treatment.
There are 3 scenarios for which a chemical approval can be initiated. First is the introduction of a complete new Chemical, second is the reuse of an existing chemical at different location or for different use and third is the approval of manually created chemicals like those a company already has in the EH&S specification data base.
Once a chemical approval has been requested the hazardous substance manager can check completeness and correctness of this request and search for duplicates to avoid unnecessary creation of chemicals. Then the requested method of use will be checked whether supported by vendor according to his safety data sheet. The hazardous substance manager can also check for possible substitutes within chemicals that are already used within the company. Finally, the substance is checked for restrictions against predefined lists containing restricted substances. Having gone through all these check points and ending up with positive decision a request for vendor SDS data entry is sent to responsible person for data recording determined by system based on requested location.
The systems supports the chemical data maintenance be it a chemical mixture or a chemical substance. For the latter additional information like substance identifiers (for instance CAS and EINESC number or formula) and REACH Registration number and name per vendor can be maintained in addition to own and vendor specific identifiers like numbers and names that are maintained for mixtures as well. GHS and EU classification are supported for which hazard symbols and GHS pictograms are determined automatically. The same applies for GHS Hazard statements to those additional ones can be added. Beside the classification hazardous ingredients need to be taken from vendor MSDS including proportions which can be given as ranges or exact values. A huge list of existing listed substances (ca. 250.000) can be used to ease listing of hazardous ingredients referring to CAS numbers and translated names. Other information whose maintenance is supported by the system are Occupational Exposure Limits (values provided by system for regulatory list and substance chosen) statements like those for first aid measures for which the system makes suggestions based on the first characters typed by user. Finally physical and chemical attributes can be maintained and materials can be assigned to chemical.
To give his approval the Industrial Hygienist will define exact locations and methods of use and will review for each location already existing controls and Exposures which can lead to rejection of chemical or to a list of all locations along with the approved method of use that might grow over time.
Now that a chemical is available for one or more locations it can be used in Risks Assessments that have been enhanced for chemical related risks. Starting point is identification of risks by location or hazard. Since risks posed by chemical hazards usually vary based on method of use the chemical and corresponding method of use have to be specified. For risk determination Hazard statements can be used as method and additional hazard determination methods can be added. For each hazard potential impacts can be specified and already available controls for mitigation available at the location can be added. For chemicals and especially for mixtures that are referenced on risk, the system lists all agents that have workplace control parameters and it can be decided which agents shall be used for exposure analysis so that samples are collected. Amounts out of the sample can be compared to Occupational Exposure Limits.
Once the risks have been evaluated controls need to be defined for mitigation. Default controls are suggested by system and new controls can be added to a catalog. These controls are used for creation safety instructions that are subsequently published in safety instruction sheets.
The process is supported by analytical reporting capabilities. There are queries that allow to create reports about chemicals (chemical risks) in the location hierarchy (Chemical risks by Hazardous Ingredients/Material/GHS classification) and queries that merge chemicals in location hierarchy with quantity information (Inventory) as required for US SARA312 reports and German Gefahrstoffkataster.
Since chemical companies usually have a lot of chemical information already available in EH&S specification data base reports are available to transfer data from there into EHSM add-on for use in Chemical Data management for Health & safety purposes.