The Value of Occupational Hygiene in REACH Implementation

This statement represents the consensus view of Occupational Hygiene professional organisations in EU Member States, in other European Countries and in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australasia, all of whom are members of the International Occupational Hy giene Association, and who recognise that the impact of REACH will be felt by industry worldwide.

IOHA recognise one of the the principal aims of REACH is to reduce any adverse health impact associated with the use of chemicals. We believe that the skills and competencies embodied in the role of
professional occupational hygienists are uniquely placed to assist in the successful, practical, implementation of the REACH legislation in the EU, and to assist in the understanding of its implications elsewhere in Europe and globally.
Those areas where occupational hygienists who belong to IOHA member organisations make a key contribution are:

Providing advice to Manufacturers and Importers (M/I) on anticipating, recognising, evaluating and controlling exposures and health risks from handling chemicals, all of which are key elements in the Chemical Safety Assessment.

Helping M/I develop guidance for Downstream Users (DU) on practical and effective Risk Management Measures (RMM), thereby providing concise and comprehensible input for the Exposure Scenario within an extended safety data sheet.

Developing tools to assess likely exposures to chemicals in different scenarios, and the effectiveness of different exposure control options. Also read : Digital Exhibits Workshop With Oral History Annual meeting

  • Assisting DU with site specific advice on RMM to ensure compliance.
  • Providing OH specific guidance to supplement the Technical Guidance Document and other information provided by the regulator.
  • Working with EU bodies and Competent Authorities to develop guidance relevant to the above.
  • Organising events to ensure that industry is aware of the skills and services that occupational hygienists can provide to help them comply with their legal duties.
  • Developing training modules for occupational and environmental health and
    hygiene professionals
    and others to encompass the more specialist aspects of REACH.
  • Impartially advising the Commission the European Chemicals Agency and industry inside and outside the EU

particularly SMEs

on key areas where occupational hygiene prof essionals in IOHA member organisations have practical expertise, including exposure assessment approaches, the effectiveness of RMM and practical implementation of control strategies.

We view the increased awareness in chemical hazards that REACH will gen
erate as a real opportunity to further reduce exposure to chemicals in the workplace. IOHA and its member organisations can help to
achieve this by working in partnership with all involved to ensure that the skills and competencies
possessed by occupationa l hygienists are recognised by Manufacturers, Importers and Downstream Users of chemicals in the EU, elsewhere in Europe and worldwide, and are used in the most effective way.

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