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Are Your New Cleaning Chemicals in Your SDS Library?

Toby Graham /

When was the last time you updated your safety data sheet library?

Remember: your company’s SDS library needs to be updated whenever new chemicals are introduced to the premises. That includes any cleaning products or chemicals you’re using to sanitize and disinfect surfaces in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

This isn’t only about meeting Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Health and Safety Administration requirements. It’s about saving lives. The coronavirus is deadly—and so are cleaning chemicals when used improperly or in the wrong combinations.

Your workers need to know what chemicals are present in the workplace, how to use those chemicals safely, how to use the chemicals to effectively eliminate COVID-19 particles.

This is where your SDS library comes in. Each SDS should outline information such as…

  • how to use the substance
  • how to store it
  • what (if any) personal protective equipment a user needs to wear
  • what to do in the event of toxic chemical exposure


…and more.

In addition to your SDS library, you may also need to update your hazard communication program and provide new training to your employees. Not all safe cleaning and sanitization procedures are obvious. 

For instance, consider if your employees are aware of the following:

  • A combination of soap and water is more effective than hand sanitizer for COVID-19 removal.
  • The temperature of water doesn’t seem to affect virus microbe removal—hot, warm, cool, and cold water are all equally effective.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting are two discrete processes. Both are essential. You need to wipe visible dirt and grime away from something (i.e. clean) before you can disinfect it.
  • Different EPA-approved disinfectants for COVID-19 have different contact times, meaning it varies how long a chemical needs to remain on a surface to work. Some are effective in as quickly as one minute; others need to sit on the surface for 10 minutes or longer.
  • Microfiber cloths make for more effective rags than do terry cloths.

For further guidance about cleaning and disinfecting properly, click here. For more information about safety data sheets and hazard communication, click here.

KPA’s new Return to Work Safely program can help you and your employees get back to business while minimizing risk and wasted time and expenditure. Learn more.

If you need help managing your SDS library, ensuring correct cleaning and sanitation, training your workforce, minimizing workplace risks, or handling any safety or compliance challenge, please contact us.

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