Hazardous Substances Management

The company has to ensure the careful handling of hazardous materials. For this purpose it is necessary to know which hazardous substances are presented in the company, which hazards and risks emanate from them and what precautions can be taken. The employees must be trained in the handling of hazardous materials and be well informed about the hazards and risks. Accidents or diseases involving hazardous substances lead to downtime and economic losses and may also damage the company’s image. Therefore, it is important to have a structured management of hazardous materials with distinct authority and responsibility. The core element here is the list of hazardous substances, in which all information is recorded, evaluated and documented central and regularly. The first step for creating a hazardous material inventory is the collection of all hazardous substances in the company, their amount and types of use as well as the involved work places. In the second step, the used materials and work places have to be evaluated in relation to their hazardousness. Based on this information relevant protection measures are to be arranged. Additionally, operating instructions and labels need to be created according to GHS (Globally Harmonized System of classification, labelling and packaging of chemicals) and all employees have to be instructed in safe handling of hazardous materials. GHS-kennzeichnung Relevant data of the hazardous substance about the safety, health and environment hazards with regard to the use, handling, storage, transport and disposal can be taken from the data sheet (Materials Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)). The safety data sheet is provided by the manufacturer. The labeling of a hazards substance container must be in an understandable language to the user. The company shall ensure that the existing safety data sheets, labels and operating instructions comply with the legal requirements, that they are up to date, that they can be read and understood by the users and that the employees are trained in application of hazardous materials.

The implementation of the hazardous substances management has to be performed by trained hazard material agent of the company’s hazard materials department. The hazard materials department also provides support for the procurement of specific substances. The requested hazardous material will be checked for its purpose and then, if it is necessary with some conditions be allowed to use. Then the new materials have to be registered in the list of hazardous substances too.