Original Date: 07/25/2005
Revision Date: 09/12/2006
Best Practice : HAZMAT Procurement Controls / Material Safety Data Sheets
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems’ supply chain control over hazardous material purchases has eliminated the possibility for these materials to be brought into the company’s facilities or for processes without Industrial Hygiene, Safety, Environmental and Compliance Engineering Department controls.
The Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) Department at Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (NGES) has identified a system to control unauthorized chemical purchases. This process has streamlined a former manually intensive effort with the potential for unauthorized material procurement into one that ensures that all hazardous material purchases receive EH&S engineering concurrence. Systems Applications Products (SAP) software has enabled EH&S control over what chemicals are brought into the manufacturing, engineering, and maintenance processes through a review process that tags each chemical with a five-digit identifier. Procurement cannot authorize the purchase of a chemical without this identifier. When a program or project requires a new chemical purchase, a Hazardous Materials Request Form (HMRF) must be completed. The HMRF is routed through the Safety, Industrial Hygiene, Environmental, and Compliance Engineering Departments for review of the chemical’s constituents and hazards to ensure that proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is available to those employees who will be in contact with the material and that regulatory permits allow for this material to be used in the facility (Figure 2-1).
This process also ensures Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are on-site before the material is brought into the facility. Once a chemical has been approved and the identifier number has been assigned, the requesting work center can order the product as needed. The identifier gives Procurement permission to purchase the materials and identifies which facilities are authorized to have the product. If a process in an unauthorized building needs to use this material, the HMRF must be completed and the review process repeats. After the ES&H group approves a chemical and assigns its five-digit identifier, the product is added to the iBUY system to facilitate department purchase. The internal iBUY system is a quick reference procurement tool that allows employees to search for products and for the facilities that can use these products. To better enforce the chemical supply chain control, specific mail order catalogs commonly used by NGES are reviewed, and specific chemical products or hazardous materials are blocked from purchase with NGES credit cards.
MSDS are scanned and stored in PDF format for instantaneous retrieval by all employees. Storing MSDS with this method has cut the amount of ES&H time dedicated to MSDS management by 50 %. Having supply chain controls over paint, adhesives, chemicals and hazardous material purchases has decreased NGES employee safety risks and has reduced ES&H labor and the risk of non-compliance to regulatory requirements.
Figure 2-1. Enterprise Accountability Process
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