By Amanda Yerke, Logic Quantum
Converting MSDSs to the new SDS format can be formidable without help. Image courtesy Logic Quantum
There are only six weeks between the April 15th tax deadline and the June 1st OSHA deadline this year. The volume of paperwork, research, and regulatory red tape involved in both deadlines can be daunting for corporations. Fortunately, your extensive experience with the IRS may help you prepare for a timely and accurate conversion to GHS standards. I’ve highlighted five of the major parallels between the two responsibilities:
1. Be Proactive
This is critical, especially when you consider how much work must be invested into filing taxes and converting MSDS’s to GHS compliant SDS’s. Evaluating your situation and organizing your documentation early will prevent a stressful scramble for information in the days before the deadline. Additionally, don’t count on an extension. With the IRS, it’s possible that your request for more time would be granted, but you won’t be that lucky with OSHA! The regulatory body has already announced that they will not be offering any extensions on the deadline, and your lack of compliance may impact shipments to your clients who are reluctant to risk OSHA violations by accepting noncompliant orders.
2. Hire a Professional
Unfortunately, legislation is often difficult to understand. The intricacies of tax law and safety regulations are complicated, and there’s a plethora of variability’s that have an impact on your compliance. Many Certified Accounting Professionals (CPA’s) charge upwards of $200 per hour, and environmental organizations charge similar rates for MSDS conversion or consulting. However, those costs can be justified by the degree of expertise these solutions offer, and by amount of time you’ll save through outsourcing the work.
3. Commit to Precision
Not only do you have to file your taxes and convert your MSDS’s, you have to do so accurately. Regardless of intent, inaccurate information can create serious consequences. If you’re audited for erroneous taxes, you’ll be penalized by the IRS. Similarly, if you refuse to comply with the GHS-aligned standard, you’re risking the possibility of rejected shipments by end customers and costly OSHA violations.
4. Embrace Transparency
In order to ensure accuracy, it’s imperative that you embrace transparency. Whether you’re working with an environmental organization such as Quantum, or a CPA who you’ve hired to compile your taxes; the accuracy of their output will only be as good as the information that you provide to them. Therefore, accept that third party options are trying to work with you, not against you. Be willing to share intimate information with your provider, whether its formulations or financial facts, in order to ensure that they can do their job accurately.
5. Reap the Benefits of Timely and Accurate Compliance
Unfortunately, complying with safety and environmental regulations doesn’t offer the same potential for monetary returns that filing your taxes does. However, there are quantitative benefits to both procedures that are invaluable to the success of your business. Complying with OSHA standards help protect you from violations, fines, and investigations in the same way that filing accurate taxes ensures a reasonable statue of limitations clock for audits. Understanding the potential consequences of noncompliance should provide incentive to get things done right, the first time!
About Logic Quantum: Quantum Compliance, a Logic Solutions Company, provides Environmental, Health and Safety (EH&S) software solutions that help businesses implement and maintain compliant and sustainable EH&S practices. Our solution offers an integrated, enterprise-wide Environmental, Health and Safety (EH&S) platform that simplifies a corporation’s EH&S information management, increases workplace safety, and reduces risk exposure to regulatory citations. www.qsdsconversion.com