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Chemicals at work a new labelling system

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Chemicals at work a new labelling system

Guidance to help employers and workers to manage the transition to the new classification, labelling and packaging system.

This document is intended to provide practical guidance to employers and workers on how the directly acting CLP regulation ((EC) No 1272/2008 on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures) will affect the following worker protection directives:

- chemical agents directive (98/24/EC);
- carcinogens and mutagens directive (2004/37/EC);
- safety signs directive (92/58/EEC);
- pregnant workers directive (92/85/EEC);
- young people at work directive (94/33/EC).

These directives have been implemented in the national legislation of each Member State.

Information on this legislation and general guidance on how to comply will be available from the authorities responsible for occupational health and safety in each Member State.

Each of these five directives requires that employers: identify hazardous chemical substances and mixtures in the workplace; assess the risks to themselves, their employees and others who may be affected by their use of the substance or mixture; and take appropriate actions to minimise the risks and ensure the substance or mixture can be used safely without causing adverse effects to the health of people or to the environment.

One of the key steps in identifying hazardous chemical substances and mixtures is to review the information about them provided by suppliers in the form of labels and safety data sheets.

For many years, the dangerous substances directive (67/548/EEC) (DSD) and the dangerous preparations directive (1999/45/EC) (DPD) have required that suppliers of chemical substances and mixtures:

- identify the hazards of the chemical using a standardised set of classification criteria;
- package the chemical safely;
- communicate information about hazards to their customers through labels and other documents such as safety data sheets.

The DSD and DPD are now being replaced by the directly acting CLP regulation.

This means that Member States will not need to pass implementing legislation to bring CLP into national law, though some national measures may be necessary to lay down penalties and Competent Authority (CA) responsibilities. Requirements for safety data sheets (SDSs) are already laid down in the directly acting REACH regulation ((EC) No 1907/2006 concerning the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals).

European Commission
Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
Unit B3
Manuscript completed in February 2013

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