Case Study - City of Orillia Chemical Hazards Audit
Hear how SDS RiskAssist inspired employee engagement about chemical safety within the City of Orillia
Evaluation of chemical hazards from products used by the City of Orillia
Canadian municipalities have powerful voices. By their actions, they can lead the way to achieving many goals in their communities. Overseeing the health and safety of workers and the environment with chemicals is no exception.
The City of Orillia, known as the Sunshine City, is located just 90 minutes north of Toronto on the shores of Lakes Simcoe and Couchiching. It is known for its small-town charm and its variety of all-season outdoor activities.
To protect its valuable employees and natural assets from harm due to hazardous chemicals, the City of Orillia subscribed to SDS RiskAssist in the fall of 2022.
The following case study describes how the City reduced their WHMIS workload by reducing their number of SDSs by 50% and acted immediately to mitigate harm to workers, to hold chemical product suppliers accountable to the standard of Canada's Hazardous Products Regulation, to eliminate hazardous products and to set metrics to eliminate or substitute more products in the future.
Read the following case study to learn how SDS RiskAssist helped the City of Orillia take these actions:
Chemical Hazards Audit Case Study Overview
In 2022, the City of Orillia selected SDS RiskAssist, web-based safety data sheet (SDS) management
and chemical safety software, to improve chemical safety across municipal operations.
Over the span of 8 weeks, 600 paper SDSs (many of them duplicates), were replaced with 318 sharable
electronic versions, for substantial future time savings. In addition, using SDS RiskAssist, city personnel
were able to gain clarity on requirements associated with occupational health and safety and
environmental legislation, with the following examples:
During the onboarding phase of the project, SDS RiskAssist flagged products that prompted the City to
challenge several local suppliers to update their safety data sheets to ensure they comply with the
regulations. In this way, the City is not only safeguarding the health and safety of its workers but also
improving chemical safety within the community at large. All employers, workers and the environment
benefit from better chemical safety information from suppliers.
84 employees from the City of Orillia are already using the system, with more being added each day.
Response from city employees has been extremely positive, with staff appreciating the ease of looking
up SDSs and quickly understanding the hazards by reviewing the SafetySnaps (clear, concise summaries of each SDS).
"For the first time, I feel I'm in control of the city's WHMIS obligations. With SDS RiskAssist, I'm now aware of areas where I can work with the City’s managers to take quick action and make important improvements in workplace health and safety.”
Health & Safety Officer, Human Resources, City of Orillia
"SDS RiskAssist™ is revolutionary in the chemicals management solutions sector. So much more than a document management system, SDS RiskAssist™ empowered us to easily see the college's entire chemical collection by area and prioritized hazard. It has allowed us to justify the removal of over 300 obsolete and unnecessary chemicals as well as easily completing flammables reporting to the fire department. We have also been able to identify areas to reduce chemical/WHMIS training costs. SDS RiskAssist™ is an indispensable tool to have in our occupational health and safety toolkit!"
Lisa Lynn, CRSP
Occupational Health & Safety Co-ordinator Loyalist College
“SDS RiskAssist™ absolutely deserves all the awards it has received to date! With the help of this cost-effective platform, we have been able to gain much better awareness about the chemical products that we manage. Our directors are very happy with the improved level of knowledge and oversight. So much so that they requested mobile access for themselves! The platform is intuitive and is a great resource for our staff, who find it much more accessible than binders or an online document repository. Visiting the site is becoming routine and the chemical-handling information is clear and consistent.”
Dr. Evangelia Iperifanou
Dental Director Unite Here Wellness & Dental Centre