The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) is rolling out an initiative designed to streamline the safety data sheet (SDS) process under which chemical information is provided by suppliers to retailers. The association represents major U.S. retailers such as Target, Walmart, Lowe’s, the Home Depot, Sears, jcpenney and Walgreens.

Retailers require detailed information to safely handle chemical products in accordance with various regulations promulgated by federal agencies such as OSHA, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and EPA. In an effort to enhance efficiency in the requests made by retailers, RILA created an SDS template, which aligns with the 16-section format prescribed by OSHA’s hazard communication (HazCom) standard. 

“The recent changes to the HazCom standard provide an opportunity for the retail industry to upgrade requests for chemical information since chemical manufacturers must rewrite their SDS’s based on the global harmonization criteria,” said Lisa LaBruno, senior vice president of retail operations for RILA. “Consistent retailer requests will enhance supply chain efficiency and communication regarding chemical information, as well as assist retailers in properly handling chemical products for the benefit of customers, workers, communities and the environment.”

Leading retailers and providers of product safety compliance and information services helped drive the SDS initiative forward.

"As a founding sponsor of RILA's SDS Working Group, we applaud RILA's efforts to help retailers and manufacturers more efficiently exchange chemical and product information,” said Jeffrey Starr, vice president of marketing at 3E Co.  "We believe RILA's SDS template will be extremely valuable to retailers and manufacturers alike, as they strive to achieve conformance, mitigate risk and enhance workplace safety."

EHS Today is partnering with RILA to present a general session at the organization’s annual Retail Asset Protection (RAP) Conference April 28-May 1, 2013 in Orlando. The RAP conference is attended by more than 1,000 retail loss prevention executives, and safety is a key focus of the conference program.

The session will be titled “America’s Safest Companies: Building a Culture of Safety.”
Companies striving for world-class leadership in safety must be willing to embrace, celebrate and aspire to transformational leadership, with accountability at all levels of the organization. Representatives from three companies named America’s Safest Companies by EHS Today – Caterpillar, Dow Corning and Honeywell Aerospace – will discuss their efforts to achieve world-class safety results, reveal what transformed their safety culture from average to exceptional and share their leading indicators for measuring success.