Safety in the use of chemicals at work
Chemicals are used in virtually all work activities, thus presenting certain chemical risks in a large number of workplaces all over the world. Many thousands of chemicals are used in substantial quantities, and many new chemicals are also introduced into the market each year. It is therefore an urgent task to establish a systematic approach to safety in the use of chemicals at work. An effective control of chemical risks at the workplace requires an efficient flow of information from the manufacturers or importers to the users of chemicals on potential hazards and on the safety precautions to be taken. This flow of information should be followed by daily action by employers to ensure that the necessary measures are taken to protect workers, and consequently the public and the environment. The practical recommendations of this code of practice are intended for the use of all those who have a responsibility for safety in the use of chemicals. The code is not intended to replace national laws, regulations or accepted standards. Its object is to provide guidance to those who may be engaged in the framing of provisions relating to the use of chemicals at work such as competent authorities, the management of companies where chemicals are supplied or used, and emergency services. The code should also offer guidelines to suppliers’, employers’ and workers’ organisations.