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When you’re starting a new business, there’s no shortage of items on your to-do list. And one item that often falls to the bottom – whether due to budgetary or time restrictions or complete inexperience and unfamiliarity – is compliance.

And that’s easy to understand – you’re busy wearing all the hats and juggling all the balls – but OSHA, unfortunately, isn’t inclined to be so accommodating. Its role, after all, is to ensure everyone’s safety, yours included, so compliance simply can’t wait until ‘tomorrow.’

Thankfully, we have an exhaustive repository of resources and information for your reference to help you as you prepare to open your doors.

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding compliance, HazCom, SDSs, GHS and every other confounding acronym in between for newcomers.

Why is compliance important?

Simply put, OSHA’s goal is to make workplaces safer – and that should be your goal, too. And even if you’re not driven by the higher ideals of a safe workplace, the truth is it’s just good business.

Here are some critical OSHA statistics to know, including the price tag of willful and repeat violations – $129,336 per violation – and that for the failure to correct violations – $12,934 for each day the condition continues.

Where do I start?

If you are a manufacturer or supplier and if your products require an SDS, having an authoring system or process that groups products in families based on unique hazard combinations and physical states makes all the difference.

There are many factors that contribute to GHS-compliance, so here we provide a list of considerations so you can be sure your suppliers have sent you GHS-compliant SDSs. It is important to note that the emphasis here is on the end-user, not on the SDS creator.

What are additional requirements for compliance?

Workplace chemicals present countless hazards. As such, OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standards (HazCom) requires companies producing and/or using hazardous chemicals to provide employees with information and training relevant to the hazardous chemicals, their handling, protective measures, and any other significant safety concerns in accordance with OSHA’s Right-to-Know Standard.

There are five key elements to HazCom, and since hazard communication violations rank No. 2 on OSHA’s list of violations, OSHA will continue to take violations in this category seriously.

The specifics of HazCom’s new guidelines still prompt questions, so here is a quick-reference guide in order to stay compliant.

What are common pain points – and how can I avoid them?

OSHA’s 10 most frequently cited workplace safety violations stay fairly consistent year over year, with slight changes only to the order of the violations.

As such, here are some HazCom compliance tips on four key compliance pain points for business owners in order to avoid becoming a statistic on next year’s violations report.

What triggers an inspection?

While there is some truth to the suspicion that OSHA targets certain industries and business for inspections, it’s not the full picture. OSHA has two types of inspections: programmed and unprogrammed. OSHA does – understandably – targets certain industries and companies based on where they believe the greatest risks are, so those inspections are programmed.

How do I maintain my compliance?


Here are six steps for properly maintaining an effective HazCom program.


As a general rule, chemical suppliers are expected to periodically review, revise, and update their safety data sheets. Changes are made, as necessary, as new hazard info is found, new information about protective measures is ascertained, or changes are made to product information. So here are three frequently asked questions regarding the update of SDSs to keep you compliant.

What are some common SDS mistakes?

Interpreting regulations and implementing processes to sustain chemical compliance can be challenging and as such, mistakes are often made. Here, we take a look at some of the most common mistakes when it comes to SDS management and authoring – and solutions to help you avoid them.

A Compliance Partner That Works For You

As your compliance partner, we constantly communicate with manufacturers to ensure that SDS databases are always updated for compliance. With GSM, you can be assured that your compliance is our top priority so you can focus on what matters most: growing your business.

Schedule a free demo to see how GSM can help you today!