Let’s talk about where an SDS, NIOSH Pocket Guide, Emergency Response Guidebook, and the WISER app all have a role in finding chemical hazards. They all have their place and limitations. When you work with chemicals, it is important to be able to locate the hazards, how to safely work with them, and how to respond to incidents, quickly and accurately. Each resource has its strengths and weaknesses, so knowing how to use each resource and when it is the best tool for the job is important. A safety data sheet, or SDS, is going to have the most specific information, but is not interactive for things like mapping evacuation zones. The NIOSH Pocket Guide is great for looking up chemical properties, such as permissible exposure limits and flammability, but is limited in other kinds of information. The Emergency Response Guidebook has chemicals in broader categories, so will not tell you chemical specific information, such as vapor pressure. My favorite resource is WISER, which is an app. It has the best of each resource, including all the properties from the ERG and NIOSH Pocket Guide, the evacuation zone mapping features of the online ERG, and more chemical properties than the NIOSH Pocket Guide.

Take a little time to learn each one, when it is applicable, and practice in case you ever need to find chemical hazards quickly during a response, or better yet, developing prevention and response plans BEFORE an incident occurs!