EU OSHA and ECHA to promote the management of dangerous substances at work



EU-OSHA and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) work as partners to promote good practices and encourage the management of dangerous substances at workplaces. ECHA’s tools and information are a vital resource in the context of the Healthy Workplaces Manage Dangerous Substances campaign.

A partnership aimed at the protection of workers

Since according to its company survey 38% of European companies report using potentially dangerous chemical or biological substances in their workplaces, EU-OSHA has formed a key partnership with ECHA. As the primary body responsible for implementing the EU’s chemical legislation, the mission of ECHA is to work for the safe use of chemicals together with partners serving a wide range of EU policies and global initiatives. In 2010, the two agencies signed a memorandum of understanding which formed the blueprint of their working relationship. It states that it is in the interests of both agencies to cooperate closely and spread the message of protection against chemicals to as wide an audience as possible.

As part of this cooperation, ECHA have promoted through its channels EU-OSHA’s Healthy Workplaces Manage Dangerous Substances campaign, which aims to highlight the health risks of exposure to chemicals and other substances in the workplace. Similarly, EU-OSHA has presented the campaign on ECHA’s Chemicals in our Life website and their events. Chemicals in our Life aims to inform the public about the presence of chemicals in everyday objects such as electronics, clothes and biocides. It features a dedicated section on keeping safe at work.

Together, the agencies exchange information, organise events, for example a meeting of the Network of REACH Socio Economic Analysis and Analysis of Alternatives Practitioners (NeRSAP), in Bilbao. In addition, the agencies cooperate to promote material that encourages good practices and a culture of prevention in the workplace.

Raising awareness of nanomaterials

One example of the shared interests of EU-OSHA and ECHA can be found in the field of nanomaterials. The knowledge of exposure to substances containing nanomaterials in the workplace is rapidly evolving, so the topic is an ideal space for the two agencies to collaborate.

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