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Case Study – Loyalist College
Loyalist College: Big steps in Responsible Chemicals Management with SDS RiskAssist
Loyalist College is located close to the beautiful Bay of Quinte in Belleville, Ontario and covers a 200 acre property. There are over 3500 students enrolled in the College programs. Upon the first meeting with Rillea Technologies in 2017, College staff was managing over 1000 WHMIS-regulated chemical products with paper binders. In addition, WHMIS education and training was being licensed on a per-user basis and was not economically feasible to provide for all students and staff. Staff had no efficient way to compare safety data sheets (SDSs) against existing chemical inventories and updates to the paper work were frustrating and time consuming. Hazards were impossible to assess in groups and tasks, such as fire department reporting, took weeks of time to complete and required scarce resources. Access to chemical hazard information for students was restricted to an in-person review of paper binders.
Safety personnel knew that something had to be done but the task of updating to an online platform seemed too complicated to even conceive. Fortunately, Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, an innovative thinker and president of Loyalist College, understood the value of having the right automation and invited Rillea Technologies to showcase our products and services.
Four years later, the College has: up-to-date SDSs; eliminated over 300 hazardous products college-wide; added SDSs for products that were previously missed; completes fire department reporting at the click of a mouse; updates SDSs remotely across all campuses and departments; can provide in house WHMIS education and training for all staff and students at a fraction of the original cost; and students have barrier-free chemical hazard information at their fingertips, via mobile devices. In fact during the most recent “remote-learning” school term, the College’s SDS RiskAssist platform had over 1500 page views from 300 users and students made up 73% of the system usage!
And how do staff feel about SDS RiskAssist? Here is what Biosciences Lab Coordinator Greg Allen has to say,
“As a Lab Coordinator managing our lab space at Loyalist College, SDS RiskAssist allowed me to change my focus from updating 10 – 3″ binders of paper to improving occupational safety in my labs. It was more of a battle to maintain a printed hard-copy with a revision date of less than 3 years such that staying in compliance became the goal, rather than actual safety. SDS RiskAssist aided us in transitioning to using less harmful and safer chemical options than we had in the past. This led to the disposal of over 200 chemicals including 16 that were carcinogens and 9 that were fatal if inhaled.
The software is intuitive and easy to use; the information on the 1-page summary is simple and appropriate for our students. Where users would get lost in the detail of an SDS, they can now quickly and easily obtain the information from SDS RiskAssist’s summary page. Should the full SDS need to be viewed for more details, it is a simple click of a button to access.
Through the system’s single sign on, over 2,000 students have accessed and used it in the last 2 years. Clearly today’s students are looking for easy access to this kind of safety information. This leads to more students actually using the system, and becoming educated on how important it is for them to prioritize their own safety within workplaces.”
Read more about how SDS RiskAssist can be invaluable for educational institutions in the following case study.
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Discover the gap that exists between the intent of WHMIS and the on-the-ground reality.
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