Step-by-step guide for new customers

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Welcome to iChemistry

Chemical management includes knowing which chemicals you work with, where you keep them and how your handling may affect the employees and the environment. This includes all aspects of chemicals - manufacturing, processing, treatment, packaging, storage, transport, use, disposal, destruction, conversion and comparable procedures.



In order for you to manage this effectively, your organization has chosen iChemistry, an online chemical management system.


About this guide

Are you a new user in iChemistry? Then this guide is for you! We’ll go through the basic steps needed to get started on the journey towards chemical compliance.


 

If you need help

For instructions on how to use the functionalities of iChemistry, please take a look at our Knowledge base.

Should you need any help with iChemistry along the way, feel free to reach out to our Customer service:

support@intersolia.com +44 161 7131719

For questions or requestsregarding safety data sheetssds@cs-environment.se 


Our EHS consultants bring years of experience and deep expertise in chemical management, so if you need help, feel free to contact our EHS consultants at consulting@intersolia.com and we can tailor our consultancy services to fit your needs.



1. Identify responsibilities and roles



We recommend, as a first step, to start off by identifying the responsibilities and roles you have in your organization, working with chemical management. Perhaps it is you alone that will do all the work, but if not, it is valuable to take a moment to identify which people will be involved in making the work successful over time. 


We’ve created this matrix as an example, just as inspiration to get you started: 

Responsibility / Person

Gabriel

Amina

Ralph

Lisa

Manage inventory (make sure the chemical products on site mirrors the online inventory in iChemistry)

X

 

 

X

Create risk assessments

X

 

 

 

Sign risk assessments

 

X

 

 

Monitor restriction- and prohibition lists, such as Candidate list, over time

 

 

X

 

Keep track of remarks in the Overview (red flags showing that you need to help us with product/supplier information)

 

 

 

Create and manage users

 

X

 

 

Ensure that the employees have the correct information available for themX



… 

 

 

 

 

 

Names can of course also be replaced by function, e.g. EHS manager, site manager, safety representative, manager etc.


If you realize in this step that you might need some kind of training for the staff, either in iChemistry or with legislative matters, our EHS consultants are happy to customize a training event for you. Contact your account manager or consulting@intersolia.com if you are interested in this. You can also take a look at our website for any planned open trainings: https://intersolia.com/training/

 

 

Setup users

Now that you have identified responsibilities and roles, you probably have a good understanding on which people need unique users in iChemistry. You are free to add as many users as you want and need.


When we finished setting up your iChemistry system, a welcome e-mail was sent to the responsible person with a link that leads you directly to a page where you create the first user. 


Once that user is created, you create additional users by going to Settings > Permissions > Users > Create user. (However, you could also do this step after creating the organization tree so you assign the user to the right department directly.)


Relevant articles in the Knowledge base:
Create a new user

Our standard permission groups

Advanced: Create a new permission group




CHECKLIST:

- We have identified which responsibilities and people that will be involved in working in iChemistry.

- The people that will work with iChemistry have been informed about their role.

- The first user has been created via link in e-mail

- At least one more user has been created, by going to Settings > Users > Create user





2. Build your organization tree


Where to start

Create an organizational tree that reflects the physical operations as closely as possible, before you start populating iChemistry with your chemical products.


Identify what you call the different levels of your business and draw a mockup picture of how to structure your organization tree. The highest departments should generally not contain any products themselves but should only be used for the structure and to be able to summarize product data at a high level later. Having a well-organized organization tree makes your work moving forward a lot easier!


If you are a multinational company, a natural first level of subdepartments would be countries, followed by possibly city/division/department/site/business area, then the various administrations/projects or similar, all the way down to individual rooms and chemical cabinets. If you are operating in one country, cities/business areas/departments could be a good initial level of sub-departments.


An example:

 

Create/review your organization tree

After you have done a mockup of which structure you want for your organization tree, navigate to Settings > General > Organization and create your first subdepartment. For more instructions on how to create and move departments: Manage department in the organization tree 


For each department, you can assign one or more responsible persons, which can be helpful to keep track of in the daily operations. If you want to add that, navigate to Settings > General > Department Info and add a person under Contacts and responsibilities.


Relevant articles in the Knowledge base:

Manage departments in the organization tree

 

 


CHECKLIST:

- We have made a first mockup of the structure for our organization tree.

- We have created our organization tree with subdepartments.

- We know who is responsible for the daily operations in the different departments. If you want: Add these people in Contacts and responsibilities, via Settings > General > Department Info.




3. Inventory (Add your products)


Prepare inventory

Now you have your organization tree in order and are ready to populate the departments with products! 


If you're a large organization, we recommend identifying individuals responsible for inventorying in each department and ensuring that all these individuals are involved from the start in the digital inventorying process in iChemistry.


Most likely, you already have some kind of compiled documentation regarding the products you use, perhaps a folder with SDS’s (safety data sheets) or another chemical management system. Start from there and supplement it by conducting a physical inventory of what you have on the shelves/in your operations.


When doing the inventory in iChemistry, it is a great help if you have access to the SDS's of your chemical products. You should have received these from your supplier, or they can often be found on your suppliers website. The reason why it could be helpful for you to have access to the products' SDS’s before adding the products to iChemistry, is that is makes it easier to find the correct products in the database, by searching with the exact trade name and/or article number given in the SDS's.


 

Add the products

Now it is time to add the products to iChemistry! Make sure you are located in the correct department by checking which department is in bold in the organization tree. 


Navigate to the inventory module via Tools > Inventory and click Add. 


We recommend to search by using the trade name from the SDS section 1. Try searching in Global products tab - that way you search in our entire global database of SDS’s. If you don’t get any results on the trade name, try to also search for the supplier’s article number if they have one, which you would also find in the SDS. 


If neither the trade name or article number generates a search result, you can assume that this product is not yet in our database and you can request it from our SDS team by clicking on Request. If you are doing the very first inventory in a department, of many products, it is a good idea to collect all requests in a list and you can send the whole list to sds@cs-environment.com and they will create all products at once. Add the SDS's in that e-mail for as many products as possible, to avoid any confusion on which chemicals you use.


Continue this work for all departments where products should be added. When you are done, discuss these questions with your team: 

  • How will our inventory be maintained over time, when we stop using products or start using new ones?
  • Who will be responsible in the different departments?
  • How often do we want to check so that the inventory in iChemistry mirrors our physical inventory?


For advice how to add products, see this instruction video: Video: How to add products to iChemistry


Relevant articles in the Knowledge base:

How to add a product

How to copy or move products in inventory

How to request a product

Annual consumption and maximum storage

 

 


CHECKLIST:

- We have done a first physical inventory.

- We have added the products to iChemistry.

- We have a plan how to keep the inventory in iChemistry up-to-date over time.



 

Congratulations! Now Intersolia takes over and will keep your SDS’s updated over time for your products! For all products new in the database, we are working on digitalizing the information from these. If you want to learn more about our SDS service, read this article in the Knowledge base: SDS Service. If you want to follow the status of your SDS's in the Overview, e.g. see when they are fully digitalized and the data is available for you, read this article in the Knowledge base: Status SDS update.


 

 

4. Create an action plan


WOW! Your products are now available in iChemistry and you can start to use the valuable information we get from your products SDS's!


We would like to encourage you to do a first screening of your chemical products and activities connected to them: Do we have any major risks in the work environment, and if so, where are they?


To know where to start looking, we have three suggestions for you here below. Pick the one that suits you the best.


Identify hazards

  1. Work processes as a starting point
    You know your business well, so you could start with the activites that you already know have high risk.

    For example:
    - The most frequently performed activities (with chemical products).
    - Processes that involve the use of highly hazardous chemicals.
    - Processes that involve large quantities of chemicals.
    - Processes that involve additional sources of risks, like dust or heat.
    - Earlier identified hazardous processes, especially if previous accidents have occured.


  2. Prioritize using the Overview
    On the Overview page, there is a section called Restriction and prohibition lists. You can use these lists as a starting point. (Please note that not all systems have this functionality and can instead use the report called Extended.)

    For example, if you have products on any of these lists below, you should put some extra attention to the risk assessment for them:

    - REACH Annex XIV Authorization list
    - REACH Candidate list of SVHC (Substances of Very High Concern)
    - CMR (Carcinogenic, Mutagenic, and Reprotoxic)

  3. Priority score 1-5 in the risk assessment module
    In the risk assessment module in iChemistry, you can find a recommended priority score for each product, from highest priority (1) to lowest priority (5). The score is set automatically, mainly based on the hazards information from the SDS, and can be used as a guideline for which products to start with.


Relevant articles in the Knowledge base:

General information about restriction and prohibition lists




CHECKLIST:

- We have opened the risk assessment module to look at the priority points 1-5 for our products.

- We have looked at the Overview > Restriction- and prohibition

- We have a plan on which chemical products/risk sources to begin to create risk assessments for.


 


Great job! Now you have done an initial screening, identifying activities which chemicals that are considered particularly hazardous or done on a large scale. When you feel ready, we recommend starting the risk assessment for those!



5. Risk assessments


Risk assessments are an important method to identify and manage workplace hazards. Risk assessments should always be connected to the activity performed when using the chemical product. That is why we have chosen to call it activities in iChemistry. 


Create the first risk assessments

In the previous step, you identified which chemical products to start risk assessing, so the first step is to navigate to the correct department and open the risk assessment module. After selecting a product by clicking on it, you have started your first risk assessment! 


Throughout the steps of the risk assessment, there are guidance material in the forms of question marks and tool tips, in places where we know it can be particularly difficult to assess what information to add.


Depending on which product you have chosen, the risk assessment will trigger different functions and warnings. For example, if there are no hazards classification for a product, iChemistry will suggest a “light” version of the risk assessment, whereas if it identifies the product as e.g. carcinogenic, it will suggest a much more comprehensive risk assessment and give you an extra warning about protecting the staff that you need to confirm.


Important! You need to sign the risk assessments in order for them to visible in the system. A risk assessment can be signed by the person responsible for the occupational health and safety, who will need their own user account, and the risk assessment and it's safety sheet (see below) are not available until it is signed.

 

If you need help

Our EHS consultants bring years of experience and deep expertise in chemical management and risk assessment, so if you need help with your risk assessments, please feel free to contact your account manager or our consultants directly at consulting@intersolia.com.

 

 

Safety sheet

A very important part of chemical management, is to be able to properly inform the workers about the chemicals and their risks. By law, employees need to know where they can obtain information about the chemicals they use. Therefore, we recommend training for the staff in combination with proper safety sheets. If you need help conducting a training session, you are welcome to contact our EHS consultants at consulting@intersolia.com.


We have two types of safety sheets in iChemistry: activity-based and product-based. The activity-based one should contain information on handling instructions and is an important tool to keep employees safe in their work with chemicals. It is in the risk assessment that you create your activity-based safety sheets, in the step called Handling instructions. 


The product-based safety sheet is created automatically from the products properties and are available right away, so this can be used until you have done a risk assessment for the product. After that we recommend you use the activity-based safety sheet. The product-based safety is also called "general safety sheet".


After you are done with all steps of a risk assessment, including signing it, you will find your activity-based safety sheets from My list, the product page (iSafe) and via an add-on feature called Open Access.


Relevant articles in the Knowledge base:

Start a new risk assessment

Additional sources of risk

Handling instructions - Transfer information from SDS

Safety sheet - general or activity based

What is a safety sheet?

 

 


CHECKLIST:

- We have created and signed our first risk assessments.

- We have looked at the activity-based safety sheet of a product with a signed risk assessment.

- We have agreed on roles in the risk assessment work: We know who will perform them and who will sign them in different departments.



6. Compliance – success!


Great job! Now you are well on your way on your journey towards chemical compliance! You have a complete list of your chemical products in the different departments, you have made risk assessments of the activities performed with these products, and you have a clear picture of where your hazards are and who is responsible for the different parts of working with chemical management.


 

How to keep it up

The hardest part is over for you and Intersolia will now keep your products updated over time and guide you in different ways on how to stay compliant with the latest chemical legislation. However, the usage of chemical products are not completely static, so we recommed gathering your team again and make sure you share the same view on the frequency of checking that everything is up to date. Here are some questions you can discuss:

  • How do we work when employees want to add/stop using some chemical product?
  • How often do we want to check that the inventory in iChemistry mirrors the physical inventory?
  • Who is responsible for reviewing the risk assessments in a situation where the prerequisites for the activity changes?
  • Who will keep track of the Overview function, where we show you if there are any remarks on the SDS update, or items in the to-do-list?
  • Who will make sure all employees have proper information and handling instructions?

     

If you need help

Feel free to reach out to our EHS experts if you feel like your could use some help from our consultant team.

They can help you with setting up a strategy, interpret how legislation affects your business, trainings, creation of safety data sheets and much more in the field of chemical management. Contact your account manager or our consultants directly at consulting@intersolia.com


If you have any system related questions about iChemistry, please contact Customer Service: support@intersolia.com




CHECKLIST:

- We know how we will keep our digital product inventory and risk assessments up-to-date over time.

- We know who is responsible for checking the to-do-list in the Overview in the different departments.


 

 

Great job and once again, welcome to iChemistry!


/The Intersolia Team

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