The REACH Chemical Regulation and occupational safety and health

Storage of chemicals in vats

Vats for storage of chemicals
Source: lewzstock,

The EU REACH chemical regulation came into force on 1 June 2007. It addresses not only manufacturers and distributors of chemicals, but also commercial users. In addition to environmental protection, it particularly concerns occupational safety and health issues.

Besides a general overview, these pages particularly provide information and assistance regarding REACH. The focus lies upon occupational safety and health.

REACH gives rise to new requirements for commercial users of chemicals. For example, chemicals may be used only in a manner covered by the (extended) safety data sheet and the chemical safety assessment (identified application). Where they are not covered, the downstream user must report the deviations back to the supplier and request appropriate amendments from the latter, or alternatively report the deviation himself to the European Chemicals Agency. Should the user have other knowledge or experience regarding the substance or the application than that provided by his supplier, he is obliged to communicate this to his supplier.

Timely communication between supplier and recipient is therefore urgently recommended.

Commercial users are advised to contact their suppliers at an early stage and to clarify the following points:

  • Will the manufacturer/supplier continue to supply the previous chemicals under REACH?
  • Will my applications be included in the registration/authorization for the chemicals?
  • Does the supplier require further information from me concerning my application?

One of the objectives of REACH is to improve the exchange of information along the entire chain of supply and use. This includes the Substance Information Exchange Forum (SIEF). SIEF is intended for potential registrants, in order to reduce duplicate tests and studies to a minimum. Where tests on vertebrates are involved, the shared use of existing data is in fact mandatory.


Dr Caroline von Oppen

Exposure and Risk Assessment

Tel: +49 30 13001-3145
Fax: +49 30 13001-38001