Skip to content

Digitization of safety data sheets (SDSs)

10 reasons to digitize safety data sheets with SdbHub

  • by
digitize safety data sheets with SdbHub

If you deal with hazardous substances and other mixtures, you’re familiar with the accompanying safety data sheets. More and more companies are moving to transform PDF documents into digestible digitized information.

The question here is what benefits SDS digitization holds from the perspective of employees, management, but also from the perspective of fundamental corporate strategy.


Reason #1 Safety
Safety is and will remain the first priority in the digitization of safety data sheets. It must be ensured that safety-related information is retained even after automated processing. Automation opens up possibilities that cannot exist with manual processing. Especially when it comes to an initial reading of thousands of data sheets. Only an automated process can help here. This ensures fast processing and the receipt of the relevant safety information.

Reason #2 Low access barrier for employees
In many respects, SdbHub represents a massive simplification for the company’s own employees in dealing with safety data sheets. No training is required as nothing changes in the processes, SdbHub is simply interposed. PDF documents are then converted into a machine-readable standardized format such as JSON, XML or CSV (Excel). This eliminates the need for filing in dusty binders. Access to the information is instantaneous and can be incorporated into in-house hazmat databases at any time with little effort.

Reason #3 Stronger employee retention
One of the biggest challenges of this era is employee recruitment and retention. The situation will become even more precarious as baby boomers retire. It is projected that there will be a shortage of seven million workers by 2035. (IAB, 2022) The battle for talent is omnipresent, even in times of crisis. Automation and digitization are therefore not a question of whether. Digital helpers add value to the workplace and become more necessary every year. On the other hand, companies are more and more subject to the compulsion to use the precious working hours sensibly and efficiently.

Reason #4 Lower error rates
It is essential to keep error rates as low as possible during processing. Manual data entry in particular increases this tremendously. The reason lies in the nature of things. Employees find themselves in the daily stress between door-to-door and closing time, and then have to quickly process a bundle of safety data sheets. Who wouldn’t produce errors here?
SdbHub takes this work off your hands. Employees and management can thus focus on the essentials.


Reason #5 Standardized format
One of the biggest ills in dealing with safety data sheets is the lack of structured standardization. The different stakeholders will not make standardization possible in the foreseeable future. Why should manufacturers do anything about it either? That is not their job. The economy thrives on the division of labor. The diversity of safety data sheets will therefore remain with us for the foreseeable future. However, it poses major obstacles, not least for manual processing. Digitization offers a remedy. Regardless of the format in which data sheets arrive, SdbHub provides the information in the right format for them. This is how your hazardous substances register can be built and maintained.

Reason #6 Compliance
Details are important. Especially when legal requirements have to be met in the regional as well as in the global economic area: Keyword REACH, CLP, GHS or OSHA. Non-compliance can result in severe penalties that can significantly disrupt business operations. In order to cope with these constantly changing regulations and requirements, information must be processed quickly and securely and must be quickly accessible in the event of controls.

Reason #7 Cloud connection
Especially when our customers have different plants, each with different storage and production sites, the digitalization of safety data sheets alone is no longer sufficient. Communication between different regions and countries is required. When data is available in digital form, the step to the cloud is no longer a big one. Safety data sheet information no longer disappears into locally stored silos; the cloud enables smooth communication between different sites.

Reason #8 Management visualization and business intelligence (BI)
Good decisions require a sound information base. In the best case, business realities can be mapped promptly in BI tools with just a few clicks. The advantage is obvious. Communication between management and employees is significantly improved. With just a few clicks, employees can upload reports with data that is valuable to management. It is easy to transfer the information of his digitized safety data sheets via the SdbHub interface function (API) into the own management tools.

Digital corporate culture

Reason #9 Simplicity
One of the biggest challenges in establishing new software solutions in a company: The already existing software zoo consisting of many isolated solutions. Understandably, this causes a high level of resistance among the company’s employees. Training and familiarization represent a massive intervention in the operational process. With each software update, new training might be required. None of this exists with SdbHub. Once adapted to the company, it works the digital safety data sheets to the employees.

Reason #10 Digitization culture

Especially if you take a look at one or another company from the inside, you’ll notice again and again that when it comes to digitalization, there’s a lot that’s severely lacking. Of course, we all agree that digital assistants must support the business goals and not work against them. However, I notice over and over again that companies decide against even the best digital product, even if it solves their problem perfectly. It’s partly because employees are technology-shy for a variety of reasons. Management, on the other hand, is unfortunately not assertive or assertive enough to establish an appropriate culture. SdbHub hits the sweet spot here. It gives employees a software tool that is very easy to understand and in high demand. Management can use easy-to-implement helper tools like SdbHub to build their digitization strategy. The small-scale change builds a strong long-term foundation with further digital connectivity opportunities.