On June 1, 2015, the statuary transition period for the complete switchover to the new criteria of the Hazardous Substances Ordinance (GefStoffV) according to CLP Regulation expired. Now the new classification and labeling system has taken effect and must be correctly applied to the occupational management of hazardous chemicals. Since 2012, the IT service and software provider DATEV eG has been maintaining its working and hazardous chemicals using Quentic, the web-based software for Health & Safety, Environmental management (HSE) and Sustainability, and thus succeeded in switching to the new regulations with ease.
Photographs provided by DATEV eG.
With their high quality solutions for tax accountants, public accountants and lawyers, DATEV eG is improving the business processes of 2.5 million companies, municipalities, clubs and institutions. Founded in 1966 and based in Nuremberg, the cooperative employs more than 6,000 people and is one of the largest software houses and information service providers in Europe.
Right from its founding, DATEV eG has focused on sustainability at all levels. This includes all operational processes, from production in the printing and shipping center, to facility and building services to cleaning services. These require the use of various hazardous chemicals. When the new Hazardous Substances Ordinance (GefStoffV) took effect in 2010, DATEV was faced with the monumental task of adapting the entire hazardous chemicals management system to the European CLP Regulation.
At the same time that the law changed, the company restructured its HSE department. Because many HSE tasks overlapped with the hazardous chemicals management, a crossover to a future-proof solution became an absolute must. Neither the hazardous chemicals register, built on the basis of MS Access, nor the Excel lists containing scanned safety data sheets were able to meet the legal requirements. Several departments were in charge of different applications that generated operating instructions and risk assessments, which resulted in unclear and inconsistent processes in hazardous chemicals management. The importance of data security for the software provider presented the new system with yet another challenge. Following extensive internal consultations and a successful test phase, the decision to go with Quentic was made.
DATEV used the Hazardous Chemicals module to build a new register which today contains more than 460 working and hazardous chemicals. Thanks to the individually adjustable filters, it takes just seconds to find any chemical including its label according to current standards (GefStoffV, GHS/CLP). This has simplified the whole process of hazardous chemicals procurement. Before a substance is ordered, a central check now takes place to see if it is either already in use at the company or has been substituted. Furthermore, information on release regulations, application areas and joint storage is automatically checked. Thus safety hazards are quickly identified and safety data sheets are always up-to-date.
Thanks to the standardized procedure, risk assessments and operating instructions have become easy to generate for the IT service provider. This means that information about activities, risks, first aid and disposal is conveniently recorded and safeguards are automatically derived on the basis of the “Easy-to-use workplace control scheme for hazardous substances”, version 2.2 of the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin). In the Legal Compliance module a new legal register is maintained, which ensures that hazardous chemicals and all production facilities are linked directly to the relevant legal norms and the derived legal obligations. Thus, the environmental officer stays abreast of all legal changes, resulting in greater legal certainty for the company.
Since 2012 DATEV is using the following Quentic modules:
- Quentic Core
- Health & Safety
- Hazardous Chemicals
- Legal Compliance
- Environmental Management
“We have found a viable solution for our hazardous chemicals management, which perfectly supports both the old as well as the new Hazardous Substances Ordinance. Our non-hazardous chemicals are now centrally recorded in Quentic and the data can be accessed by all authorized people at any time.”