Fairfax, Va -- American Management Systems has launched the U.S. government's Hazardous Materials Information Resource System (HMIRS) on behalf of the largest agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, the Defense Logistics Agency. DLA provides worldwide logistical, technical and supply support to the nation's military services and several civilian Federal agencies during peacetime and wartime operations. HMIRS is a comprehensive online repository of material safety data sheets (MSDSs) for more than 290,000 products. The system is used by tens of thousands of military and civilian agency personnel from DLA, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and the General Services Administration who handle, store, transport, use or dispose of hazardous materials.

DLA selected AMS's off-the-shelf hazard communications system, ProSteward(tm), because it closely matched their requirements and is supported by an active user group. Gary Labovich, senior vice president and manager of AMS's Environmental Systems Group, said "We implemented our proven solution in 18 months, enabling DLA to rapidly reap the benefits of the system and focus resources on other vital defense efforts. Our work with DLA on HMIRS represents government's continued efforts to collaborate with private industry. Any Federal government agency can use HMIRS to streamline the collection and dissemination of hazardous material information to its workforce."

DLA's goal was to simplify the process for capturing MSDS information and allow suppliers to electronically submit MSDSs in an image format, reducing or eliminating manual data entry. "HMIRS supports the new XML MSDS standard and includes a Web site that allows industry to electronically submit MSDS's into the HMIRS repository. This revolutionizes MSDS data exchange with suppliers and among government agencies," said Bob Milligan, senior principal of AMS's Federal Defense Group. "Users are reporting a 75 percent reduction in data capture time, which helps provide timelier access to new and revised products."

HMIRS consists of an Online Web Application, used by workers at industrial facilities to access electronic hazardous material documents; an Online Administrator Application, used by system administrators to maintain key online information; Online CD-ROM Modules, which allow off-network users to search and view documents; and a Document Submittal Web Site, to enable suppliers and government staff to submit electronic MSDSs to the HMIRS system.

AMS developed ProSteward in partnership with Shell Chemical Company in the mid-1990s to support chemical lifecycle management within major international organizations with diverse product lines, including the energy, chemical, electronics and manufacturing markets. -- Jim McKay, justice editor

Jim McKay, Editor  |  Editor