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YNHHS unveils new online Safety Data Sheets library 

From hand sanitizer to surgical disinfectant, a new online library containing Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for more than 10,000 items used throughout Yale New Haven Health System has officially launched, providing employees with quick access to information about the products they encounter in the workplace. 

“As part of our ongoing compliance with national OSHA standards regarding hazardous materials communication, we are required to provide a Safety Data Sheet for each hazardous chemical we use,” said Stephen Carbery, vice president, Facilities, Design and Construction, Yale New Haven Health. 

The new SDS library can be accessed through the Salute SDS Program (under the Resources tab on the intranet, and from a second link on the Corporate Facilities page). Employees can also access the library through a QR code, which will be made available throughout the system as the SDS communications continue. 

Employees will be prompted to enter their work email address, then be taken to the single sign-on page. From there, they can access the SDS library on the website of the vendor, Salute Safety.

While Safety Data Sheets have been available at YNHHS for years, the old system was housed in different locations at different delivery networks and quickly became outdated.

“Our old system – MSDS Online – was installed over 15 years ago and no longer complies with updated regulations,” Carbery said. “Furthermore, tracking and keeping an accurate inventory for an organization of this size became exceedingly complex.”

“Some staff might learn about Safety Data Sheets in employee orientation and then never hear about them again, or know how to access SDS’s in case of emergency,” said MaryKristin Ivanovich, environmental program manager, Corporate Facilities, who has been leading the project. 

But every employee should know how to access the SDS library.

“Let’s say you’re working in an area and you discover a spilled material, or were accidentally exposed to something that you are unsure about. You want to know: Does it pose a health hazard? Is it flammable? What are the first aid treatment recommendations? What are the proper spill cleanup methods? You can look on the SDS and find out,” Ivanovich said. “Safety Data Sheets provide you with information you may need about hazardous materials in the workplace.”

The online library is the result of over 18 months of work behind the scenes that involved validating and connecting YNHHS’ hazardous chemical inventory with purchasing practices, and precisely determining where the chemicals were ordered and will be stored.

 “We hope this new program makes it easier for users to find and locate this vital information while keeping us OSHA compliant,” Carbery said. “Thank you to everyone involved in implementing this vital solution, which will save our staff time and assure that they have the right information at the exact time they need it.”