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Chemical Agents Webpage updated

The Chemical Agents Webpage has been updated to include a section on Diisocyanates. This includes information on the Restriction, training requirements and resources including posters in several languages.

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The EU Commission has published new ‘Guidance for the Safe Management of Hazardous Medicinal Products ‘’HMPs’’ at Work

HMPs are defined as medicinal products that contain one or more substances that meet the criteria for classification in accordance with Regulation (EC)No 1272/2008 (the CLP Regulation). This includes medicinal products for both human and veterinary use. The guidance on the use of HMPs is presented in a simple and reader friendly way by using graphics, photos and special training documents. It is a non-binding document designed to be used by workers, employers, public authorities and safety experts.  Link to Guidance 

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Risk Assessment Page Updated

The Chemicals Risk Assessment webpage has been reorganised and updated. It now includes examples of assessments that Inspectors have seen during inspections and investigations. They are in different formats because different formats suit different types of activities involving chemicals. The examples have been reviewed and comments included on how they should be improved. They illustrate how you can improve the compliance of your risk assessments.

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How to achieve best outcomes for occupational hygiene monitoring in your business

Occupational Hygiene is the discipline of anticipating, recognising, evaluating and controlling health hazards in the working environment. It is not just about the air quality at the workplace. It includes inhalational exposure (air), dermal exposure (skin, contaminated surfaces) and inadvertent ingestion. It applies to measurements of chemicals, noise and vibration in the workplace.

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Training Requirement for Products Containing diisocyanates

From 24 August 2023, all workers (employed or self-employed), using mixtures containing diisocyanates (e.g. insulation and filler foams used in construction and vehicle repair), must undergo training. All employers must keep a record of successful completion and ensure its renewal every five years. The suppliers of these products must already ensure that the labelling includes the statement; “As from 24 August 2023 adequate training is required before industrial or professional use.” The suppliers, from the 24 August 2023, must check training information is available.

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Fourth Amendment to the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive

Further to our update in January 2022, the EU Commission has published Directive (EU) 2022/431 - introducing amendments to Directive 2004/37/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work.

The Act was signed by the co-legislators on 9 March 2022 and published in the Official Journal on 16 March 2022. 

This fourth amendment to the CMD revises the limit values for three key carcinogens: acrylonitrile, nickel and benzene. It also extends requirements to reprotoxic substances and hazardous medicinal products (HMPs).

Healthcare workers who deal with HMPs, half of which are reprotoxic, must receive sufficient and appropriate training on how to handle them safely. The agreed text asks the Commission to develop a definition for, and establish an indicative list of HMPs no later than 5 April 2025 to and prepare guidelines for handling these substances, particularly in hospitals, by the end of 2022.

In addition, the Commission has to present legislative proposals on occupational exposure limit values for 25 substances or groups of substance before the end of 2022 and launch a procedure to reduce the occupational exposure limits for crystalline silica dust.

Member states have two years following adoption to comply with Directive (EU) 2022/431.

Link to Directive

Lead and di-isocyanates

The aim is to revise the current limit values (OEL and BLV) for lead and its compounds and to add a new binding OEL for diisocyanates, reflecting the latest available scientific evidence, so as to ensure the same minimum level of workers protection in all Member States and to contribute to level playing field.

The RAC issued its scientific assessment for lead and its compounds and for diisocyanates  in June 2020.

The two stage Social partners’ consultation was completed and the external study supporting an impact assessment was finalised in August 2021.

Dedicated opinions for the two substances were adopted by the ACSH in the plenary meeting of 24 November 2021. (Doc. 006-216 and Doc. 007-21)

The next step by the Commission will be an impact assessment and initiate subsequent steps in the legislative procedure.

As a reprotoxic, the current OEL and BLV for Lead and its ionic compounds have now been transferred to Directive (EU) 2022/431 - introducing amendments to Directive 2004/37/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work

The ASCH Opinion on lead and diisocyanates presented to the Commission is publicly available at the following link: ASCH Opinions