Chemical Safety Management Training Hub for Chemical Users
co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union
EU Project „Chemical Safety Management Training Hub for Chemical Users” co-funded by the European Commission was implemented under the ERASMUS+ Programme (1 Sept. 2017 – 31 Dec. 2020). The aim of the project is to provide a comprehensive training package on Chemical Safety Management (CSM), with mobile ChemSM application and online HUB (ChemSM-HUB). All training materials are available in five languages (English, Polish, German, Greek and Romanian).
In 2007, Regulation 1907/2006, commonly referred to as REACH, was introduced, which completely changed the paradigm in the approach to managing chemical safety in workplaces. The scope of the REACH Regulation covers processes, such as Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction on Chemicals. The most important and fundamental novelty was the transfer of the burden of responsibility for chemical safety from Member States to companies. Under the REACH Regulation, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMS), that cannot afford to hire a specialist in the field of chemical safety management (CSM), have the same tasks as large companies and cannot be exempted from any chemical safety obligations.
Two years after implementation of the REACH, next complex regulation came into force; Regulation No 1272/2008, so-called CLP. The provisions of REACH and CLP complement each other. The REACH defines the company’s obligations depending on the role it plays in the supply chain, while the CLP – its obligations related to the Classification, Labeling and Packaging of chemicals. Under the new provisions, the obligations of all companies in the supply chain have been changed. Manufacturers and importers that place chemicals on the market must ensure the safety of all operators in the supply chain, adequately informing them of the risks and defining risk management measures. New responsibilities have been imposed on all actors in the supply chain, including downstream users and distributors of chemicals – the numerically largest groups of companies in the supply chains that are present in every industry. Most of downstream users (DU) and distributors (D) of chemicals belong to the sector of small and medium sized enterprises, that have limited resources for expensive and time-consuming trainings, and what more, the offer of non-commercial trainings in the field of CSM is insufficient.
Assessment of the state of implementation of REACH and CLP leads to the conclusion that either people responsible for chemical safety among DU and D of chemicals are insufficiently trained or lack the knowledge and understanding of EU legislation in this field. There is a widespread belief that the new EU regulatory framework for chemicals is too complex and, moreover the regulations change over time, causing additional problems for companies.
Companies report problems with defining their legal obligations under REACH and CLP and insufficient skills and knowledge, e.g. in the field of correct preparation of safety data sheets and exposure scenarios, proper communication of information in the supply chain on the safe use of chemical substances and mixtures, classification of chemical mixtures and assessment exposure in the work environment. An initial survey conducted by our project team and an assessment of the needs of workplaces for training in chemical safety management showed that the demand in this area is high.
Aims and objectives
The strategic aims of the project was to strengthen competences of target groups in the field of chemical safety management (CSM), increase awareness of relevant professional communities on the European legislation on CSM (REACH, CLP), enhance trainers’ skills in creating and conducting training in CSM in partner countries.
We have achieved the above aims by providing free access to innovative, comprehensive training program available from the e-learning platform (ChemSM-Hub) that was designed for both self-education and blended training.
It is assumed that the project will contribute to the promotion of on-line training method that allow to study the topic anytime and anywhere using a laptop, tablet or smartphone and are a great alternative to classic classroom training.
• companies (mainly small and medium enterprises) that belong to the category of
- downstream users (DU) of chemicals that include professional and industrial chemical users, formulators, fillers, article producers, craftsmen, service providers, distributors of chemicals
- distributors (D) of chemicals.
• Employers and employees responsible for chemical safety management, including OSH specialists, among DU and D of chemicals.
Secondary group of users/beneficiaries:
• State authorities, like sanitary inspection and labor inspection.
- Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine (Lodz, Poland) as the Project Coordinator
- Oekopol - Institute for Environmental Strategies GmbH (Hamburg, Germany)
- Romtens Foundation (Bucharest, Romania)
- Prolepsis Institute (Athens, Greece)
- Lodz University of Technology (Lodz, Poland)