OSHA, the EPA and Department of Homeland Security Call for Improved Sharing of Chemical Information with Local Emergency Response Agencies; MSDSonline Answers with Potentially Lifesaving Service, Plan1
CHICAGO (February 12, 2015) — MSDSonline, the leading cloud-based hazardous chemical management solutions provider, is reminding companies working to meet the EPA’s Tier II chemical reporting deadline (annually March 1) that a taskforce of government agencies is currently focused on identifying chemical facilities that underreport or otherwise fail to meet chemical reporting requirements. The taskforce has called for improved communication between first responders and facilities with hazardous chemicals and for new tools to promote information sharing. In response to these concerns, MSDSonline recently launched Plan1, a new service that enables emergency first responders to quickly and easily access the hazardous chemical information of companies in their community.
The Plan1 service has lifesaving potential for first responders (firefighters, police, EMTs, etc.) who often face unknown dangers, especially when responding to fires at factories, university laboratories, warehouses and other places of business where hazardous chemicals are present. Using Plan1, businesses can communicate to the first responder community, in advance of an incident, information about what chemicals are present, in what quantities, and where they are located using their floor plans and maps.
“The Plan1 service is included with MSDSonline’s HQ and HQ RegXR accounts, meaning thousands of our customers have access to the service,” said Mike Flynn, VP of product development & strategy at MSDSonline. “When a first responder accepts an invitation from one of our customers to connect, the first responder can immediately access Plan1 on any device connected to the internet — such as a laptop, tablet computer or mobile phone in their fire truck on the way to a call — free of charge.”
According to FEMA statistics, 1,047 firefighters were killed in the line of duty while responding to emergencies between 2004 and 2013. The Federal government has numerous standards that include requirements for companies keeping hazardous chemicals onsite to share that information with their local communities. However, the taskforce, organized around Executive Order #13650, and led by the EPA, OSHA and Department of Homeland Security, has found that chemical information is often underreported and frequently out-of-date when first responders arrive.
As the 2013 West, Texas fertilizer explosion—which resulted in 11 fatalities for responding firefighters—makes clear, there is room for significant improvement.
Flynn said, “Plan1 is not a substitute for the regulatory compliance activities required by the EPA, OSHA and other agencies. It’s a supplemental tool that can help safeguard both employees and first responders while demonstrating a company’s good faith effort to operate within industry best practices — something regulators can take into consideration during inspections.”
For more information on Plan1, visit www.msdsonline.com/plan1.aspx . For information regarding MSDSonline’s suite of chemical management and reporting solutions, visit www.msdsonline.com or call us toll-free 1-888-362-2007 from the United States and Canada.
Founded in 1996 and based in Chicago, MSDSonline is a leading provider of cloud-based EH&S compliance solutions, offering products and services for managing safety data sheets, reporting workplace incidents, training employees and administering other critical EH&S information. The company’s mission is to provide sustainable solutions that help customers improve employee safety, streamline compliance recordkeeping and reduce potential exposures to workplace hazards and risks. MSDSonline has been recognized for six years on Inc. magazine’s list of America’s 5,000 fastest-growing private companies. More information is available online at www.MSDSonline.com and on the official company blog atwww.MSDSonline.com/blog. MSDSonline is an Actua (Nasdaq: ACTA) company.