Gas and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) president elect, Bryan Keen informed members gathered today at the organization’s 67th annual convention that members would soon benefit from access to safety data information from the Compressed Gas Association (CGA).

Speaking at the convention’s opening session in New York, NY, USA, Keen announced the joint, five-year initiative, which will see the organization paying the CGA so that GAWDA members can use the CGA’s online database of safety documentation.

The idea was first proposed by CGA president and ceo, Michael Tiller. He told SGR he aims to roll out access to GAWDA members in Q1, 2012.

Keen commented:”Michael Tiller presented the concept, and we welcomed it, andentered into discussions. Ultimately, it’s a safety issue - it’s in the best interests of our members and their customers.” Keen said CGA membership,and access to its database, was previously too expensive for many GAWDA members. He added that the CGA safety data sheets would be a boon to many companies’ safety compliance programs.

Tiller also announced a new safety award from the CGA, for all GAWDA members who participate.

In a separate announcement, Keen also said GAWDA was in good shape financially,and would demonstrate this to its members with a 25 percent reduction in 2012 membership fees. This is despite a decline in the overall number of GAWDA members, resulting from factors including industry consolidation.