From Safety Data Sheets to Product Stewardship
Every company that produces or uses chemicals is familiar with Safety Data Sheets, but not every program that uses them has a product stewardship program. Nevertheless, the Hazardous Communication function and the Product Stewardship function in a business share many core competencies.
“We jokingly call HazComm the gateway drug to product stewardship,” says Angela Wutz, general manager of product regulatory services at Pace Analytical. “When someone asks how to create a product stewardship program, we say let’s start with your SDS. They’re a clear picture of what chemicals you’re using and where they’re going. They are building blocks that you have to understand.”
Wutz and co-presenter Bob Skoglund will explore the overlap in an upcoming webinar, The Confluence of HazCom and Product Stewardship – Communication Across the Value Chain, co-presented by the Product Stewardship Society and The Society for Chemical Hazard Communication.
“We’re looking at the intersection between these two groups. Historically, SCHC has been focused solely on hazard communication. The Product Stewardship Society has a broader look at chemical product regulations,” says Wutz. “We’re going to talk about where those two practices overlap and why they’re both really essential. You can’t really do product stewardship without hazard communication, and just doing HazCom is not enough anymore.”
During the webinar, Wutz will share real-world examples and case studies to illustrate practical applications for integrating HazComn and product stewardship activities. “One thing we’re going to touch on is the importance of communication across the different groups. If you have people who are solely responsible for SDS’ versus product stewardship, it’s really important that those people talk to each other regularly,” says Wutz. “There are some companies that do it very well, and they have a sense of communal ownership of the stewardship activities around products.”
The webinar is a good fit for participants who have some exposure to SDS’ or product stewardship, but not necessarily experts. “Maybe you’re new to the position or maybe you’ve made a career change,” she says. “Maybe you’re in more of a management role overseeing this type of department.”