The provision by the OH&S institutions of practical assistance and expertise in the implementation of REACH in companies is the focus of a new Internet service provided by the BG Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BGIA). At www.dguv.de/bgia/reach, small and medium-sized enterprises in particular will find appropriate aids and comprehensive information on the subject of REACH from the perspective of occupational health and safety. A self-check assists the businesses in determining whether they are in fact affected by REACH.
REACH affects chemical manufacturers and users alike, presenting both groups with new tasks: safe procedures for use, exposure scenarios, and risk management measures must be described and applied for substances subject to mandatory registration. "The BGs can provide assistance here," explains BGIA expert Dr. Roger Stamm. They possess expertise on the safe use of chemicals at work which has been proven in practice." For years, the BGs have been recommending specific procedures involving low exposure for a large number of substances. These procedures can be used by both manufacturers and users. Even in cases where knowledge which could be built upon is absent, and where applications must instead be assessed and measures developed from scratch, Stamm urges companies not to be shy of contacting their BG and regarding it as a centre of competence and source of information.
In addition to safe use, substitute substances and searches for substance data are subjects addressed by a number of tools in the new BGIA Internet service. A list of substances which are excluded from compulsory registration is also provided, as is an overview of tools from other bodies. A general overview containing detailed explanations of the new REACH elements, such as the technical dossier and the substance safety report, complete the content of the information package.
With this service, the BGIA aims to strengthen the user's role in the implementation of REACH. Says Stamm: "REACH can be successful only if manufacturers and users in companies pool their knowledge and experience of substances and their use."