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PRIO – A tool for Risk Reduction of Chemicals

Elevated or high risk

By means of your assessment of the hazardous properties of the substance and the exposure in your company, you have come to the conclusion that the risk with current use is increased or high. The next step is to consider and decide on how to handle the risk.

If it is possible to take measures against the risks, there are different methods of attack. It is important to have the expertise to manage the risks in your workplace. It may be necessary to alter the product by changing the production process, or by modifying production methods. Technical solutions can be an alternative, such as new cleaning equipment or protective equipment. There may also be a need to inform customers and have clearly written user manuals. If you can find a way to reduce the risks by various means you should perform a new evaluation of the risks at your workplace to see if the risk management is acceptable.

If the risks after taking measures are still unacceptable, or if it is economically and technically advantageous, you should consider phasing out the substance.

Replacing a substance

Phasing out, product choice/substitution, is a case of fulfilling the desired function without using the chemical in question.

It may be necessary to phase out a substance when:

  • the substance has such hazardous environmental and health properties that all use is unsuitable
  • a risk assessment shows that the risk is unacceptable for that particular use

You have obligations in accordance with The product choice or substitution principle which is in Miljöbalkens (The Environmental Code) part 2 section 4 §. This principle means that one should as far as possible avoid the sale of or the use of such chemical products as may be considered to pose a risk to humans of the environment, if they can be replaced by products that are assumed to be less hazardous.

As a basis for your systematic work of replacing a substance you can get help from the seven-step model we present here. For more detailed information or advice on alternatives you can contact your trade organisation.

Go to the seven-step model: Phase-out – what you can do