In WERCSmart, Suppliers provide their products’ chemical composition and physical properties as part of the registration process. WERCSmart then derives over 650 new data points of regulatory and sustainability results, so retailers will know how to manage complex federal, state, provincial, and local regulations as well as sell, handle, store, transport, and dispose of the products they sell.


In order to be compliant, manage risk, and protect workers, customers, and the environment, WERCSmart checks the data accuracy on all product registrations for any inconsistencies or potential anomalies prior to sending results to participating retail partners. This is called the WERCSmart product compliance assessment review. If any data inconsistencies are discovered during the assessment review, the product is put on hold, and suppliers are alerted by listing the product’s status as “Needs Attention” in their WERCSmart product management dashboard.


This article highlights the 4 most common data inconsistencies why products are put on hold and suggestions on how to solve them. 



1. Safety Data Sheet error

Summary: Used as the primary document for worker safety, the Safety Data Sheet (or SDS) is referenced in 3 out the top 4 common data inconsistencies as to why products are put on hold in the WERCSmart program; each one for its own reasons. As noted in the chart above, 40% of data inconsistencies found during product compliance assessment is due to an error in the SDS document. The most common issues found are non-compliant GHS formatting standards, accurate hazard classifications, and the incorrect use of pictograms.


What you can do about it: Before submitting your SDS, be sure it follows the 16 section GHS format standard guidelines. Pay particular attention that Section 2 provides information for Hazards Identification and Section 3 provides the product’s Composition, as these two sections have been used differently in other legacy SDS formats. Also, be sure classifications and accurate pictograms are used in Section 2 that are consistent with the composition data you have identified Section 3.


2. Formulation inaccuracy

Summary: In addition to checking the consistency of content and format within the SDS document, WERCSmart also compares a product’s formula that was entered in the chemical composition table as part of the registration process against the data provided in the SDS. If the chemical composition data doesn’t match correctly to the SDS, WERCSmart will identify the inconsistency.


What you can do about it: Be sure to compare the formulation details listed in your chemical composition table against your SDS for consistency. Essentially, if a registered product’s chemical composition table contains 50% water/50% glycerin, the same percentages should also be reflected in the SDS, or if the composition provided has ranges, such as 10-50% water, the value entered must be within that range.


3. Physical characteristics

Summary: The same approach for managing inconsistencies in a product’s formulation data is applied to a product’s physical characteristics. WERCSmart will identify the inconsistency unless the flashpoint, boiling point, VOC, and other physical and chemical property data that is entered in the chemical composition fields coincide with Section 9 in the SDS.


What you can do about it: Be sure to compare the formulation details listed in your chemical composition table against your SDS for consistency.


4. Transportation data

Summary: In most cases, a product status listed as “Needs Attention” regarding transportation data, typically uncovers an inconsistency when comparing the product formulation that was prepared in the chemical composition table against the supplier’s answer to the tick box asking whether the product is “regulated for transport” and the information provided within Section 14 on the SDS. 


What you can do about it: Begin by referencing Section 14 in your SDS to verify if your product is regulated for transport, is non-regulated, or whether it qualifies for any exceptions. If your SDS does not adequately provide the information, talk with your transportation or logistics department to assist with providing the correct information. Once Section 14 on the SDS is correct, be sure that the product’s chemical composition table and tick box “regulated for transport” are harmonized.


Inquiries

If your product is in “Needs Attention” status, you likely have received a corresponding alert or message that outlines the issue or question as well as some additional guidance on how to fix it. Edits can be made anytime and resubmitted for final assessment prior to reporting results to your retail partners.


If you disagree with WERCSmart’s product assessment, please reach out with any questions by submitting a ticket request or use the chat function here in the Customer Support site. 


Additional support

If solving any of the issues mentioned in this article are a challenge, WERCSmart can help in the following capacities:

  • SDS authoring assistance – services can be requested within the shopping cart

  • Regulatory advisement – requests can be made to work with our regulatory team by submitting a support ticket here in the Customer Support site

  • Bulk product registration – requests can be made to work with a solutions advisor by submitting a support ticket here in the Customer Support site


In closing

Resolving a product on hold can be a costly and time-consuming process that can also be generally avoided. Prior to submitting your product registration for assessment, perform a preliminary self-audit and check if both the data you are entering, and documents you upload reflect the same information. Be sure to compare the formulation details listed in your chemical composition table against your SDS for consistency. If you see any inconsistencies that cannot be easily resolved, please reach out to our customer service team for guidance.


The WERCSmart program provides a secure, permission-based platform that facilitates the safe exchange of product information between manufacturers and retailers with the highest standards of confidentiality and service.