System holds hazardous data

Hazardous Materials Information Resource System

The Defense Logistics Agency has launched an online repository of data about hazardous materials for use across the Defense Department.

The Hazardous Materials Information Resource System is an automated system that serves as a central repository for the material safety data sheets (MSDS) for more than 290,000 products. The system is used by thousands of military and civilian agency personnel who handle, store, transport, use, or dispose of hazardous materials, including personnel in DLA, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, and the General Services Administration.

HMIRS also contains value-added information input by the military services and agencies. This data includes hazardous materials warning labels and transportation information.

The system uses American Management Systems Inc.'s commercial hazard communications system, ProSteward.

DLA's goal was to simplify the process for capturing MSDS information and allow suppliers to electronically submit the data sheets in an image format, reducing or eliminating manual data entry.

HMIRS supports the new Extensible Markup Language standard for MSDS and includes:

* A Web application, used by workers at industrial facilities to access electronic documents about hazardous material.

* An online administrator application, used by systems administrators to maintain key online information.

* CD-ROMs, which allow off-network users to search and view documents.

* A document-submittal Web site, which enables suppliers and government staff members to submit electronic data sheets to the HMIRS system.

"This revolutionizes MSDS data exchange with suppliers and among government agencies," said Bob Milligan, senior principal of AMS' Federal Defense Group. "Users are reporting a 75 percent reduction in data capture time, which helps provide timelier access to new and revised products."

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine,, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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