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PRIO – A tool for Risk Reduction of Chemicals

Responsibility and training

Responsibility and authority

An important part of chemical management is to define responsibility and authorities. In respect of the responsibility for handling chemicals, the production manager, environmental co-ordinator and purchasing manager all play key roles. Some companies have also established a Chemicals committee, which is also of great importance when working with chemicals. There are also a number of other staff who play important roles in environmental work as a whole. It is usual for the environmental co-ordinator, tasked by the Managing Director, to describe how environmental work is to be organised, and to prepare a basis for written delegation concerning environmental and health questions in respect of chemicals. The production of this document often results in the need for efforts to raise the level of competence being identified.

Training in chemicals

Chemical management requires that employees who handle chemicals in one way or another, or make decisions that affect chemical handling, have sufficient expertise for their tasks.

It is a matter of knowing the company's effect on the environment and ambitions in the chemicals area, and understanding one's own role in contributing to safer chemicals handling. Many companies choose to provide basic training for all their staff, and further special training for those who need deeper knowledge. Training in chemicals could contain the following components:

  • Basic knowledge concerning chemical issues in the company's operations.
  • Control of chemicals and chemical risks in the company.
  • Tasks and responsibilities within the company.
  • An overview of the regulatory system and authorities in Sweden and the EU.
  • How to search for information and help via the Internet.
  • Handling of chemicals in the workplace.
  • The responsibilities of producers of goods, choice of chemical products and the place of chemicals in design.
  • The phasing out of hazardous substances and preventive work.
  • The position of chemicals in negotiating, purchasing and supplier assessment.
  • Classification, labelling and safety data sheets.
  • Risk assessments.
  • The company and Reach

New employees

New employees must be informed of the regulations and procedures applicable to the environmental area. Many companies have therefore brought out checklists to keep track of what must be gone through. Typical items for a new employee are:

  • First aid (such as emergency showers, eye baths, first aid equipment, sanitisation equipment, alarms).
  • Fire (e.g. alarms, evacuation, extinguishing material, fire protection).
  • Procedures, risks and protection (e.g. personal hygiene, work clothing, risks with chemicals, personal protection equipment, instructions, deviations, storage and handling of chemicals, sanitisation methods, safety data sheets, labelling, hazardous waste).