EU & international information
The Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation requires companies manufacturing or importing chemical substances in or into the EU, Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein in quantities of 1 tonne or more per year to register them with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). If information on the hazardous properties of the chemical is unavailable, it should be generated, and safety data sheets should be updated if needed.
IS YOUR EMPLOYER READY?
The final registration deadline is on 31 May 2018 and this affects companies manufacturing or importing existing substances in volumes between 1 and 100 tonnes per year. Registration concerns chemical substances as such, in mixtures or, in specific cases, in articles.
Your employer should start preparing for the REACH 2018 registration deadline now by analysing the company’s portfolio from the REACH 2018 perspective and making a plan for managing the 2018 registrations!
WHAT ARE YOUR EMPLOYER'S DUTIES?
If your company needs to register substances by the final registration deadline of 31 May 2018, your employer has to:
- • gather all of the available information about the properties of the substance;
- • share it with other manufacturers and importers of the same substance;
- • determine with them if they as co-registrants have all of the information needed for registration;
- • if not, fill in the gaps together; and
- • document this in a registration dossier.
- In addition, if the volume manufactured or imported is at or above 10 tonnes per year, your employer also has to:
- • use the information collected to assess the risks to workers’ and consumers’ health, as well as to the environment; and
- • identify the necessary risk management measures to ensure the safe use of the substance by your company and by your customers.
- In all cases, your employer has to:
- • submit a registration dossier to ECHA. The majority of the information must be submitted jointly with other companies registering the same substance; and
- • update safety data sheets for your users, if warranted by the information generated for registration.
- If your company is using chemicals in the workplace, check with your employer whether:
- • the chemical substances you use have been registered or are intended to be registered by your suppliers by 2018;
- • your uses are covered by up-to-date safety data sheets; and
- • the risk management measures as described in the safety data sheets and the exposure scenarios are implemented to ensure the safe use of the chemical.
WHY SHOULD YOU BE CONCERNED?
If your company fails to comply with the REACH requirements, it can have a significant impact on you, as you may not be using the chemicals safely.
National enforcement authorities may also take action against your employer, with potential cost implications, and may even shut down your production lines.
HOW WILL THESE RULES BENEFIT YOU?
By complementing occupational health and safety rules, they will improve worker protection by enhancing the safe use of chemicals, reducing exposure to hazardous chemicals and avoiding occupational diseases caused by them.
WHERE TO FIND FURTHER INFORMATION AND SUPPORT?
- The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has a dedicated REACH web page: www.etuc.org/issue/reach
- ECHA provides guidance, IT tools and assistance to companies as regards their roles and obligations as registrants and users of chemicals: echa.europa.eu/reach-2018echa.europa.eu/downstream
- National REACH helpdesks offer practical advice in local languages: echa.europa.eu/support/helpdesks
- The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) provides information on how to manage the risks of using dangerous substances at work: osha.europa.eu/en/themes/dangerous-substances.
Sector / Industry covered:
Not sector specific
European Chemicals Agency
Purpose of the material:
REACH or CLP related
All (no specific target group)