General provisions

1. General provisions
1.1. Objective
1.1.1. The objective of this code is to protect workers from the hazards of
chemicals, to prevent or reduce the incidence of chemically induced illnesses and
injuries resulting from the use of chemicals at work, and consequently to enhance the
protection of the general public and the environment by providing guidelines for:
a) ensuring that all chemicals for use at work, including impurities, by-products and
intermediates, and wastes that may be formed, are evaluated to determine their
b) ensuring that employers are provided with a mechanism for obtaining from their
suppliers information about the chemicals used at work to enable them to
implement effective programmes to protect workers from chemical hazards;
c) providing workers with information about the chemicals at their workplaces and
about appropriate preventive measures to enable them to participate effectively in
safety programmes;
d) establishing principles for such programmes to ensure that chemicals are used
e) making special provision to protect confidential information whose disclosure to a
competitor would be liable to cause harm to an employer’s business so long as the
safety and health of workers are not compromised thereby.
1.1.2. This code provides practical guidance on the implementation of the
provisions of the Chemicals Convention, 1990 (No. 170), and Recommendation, 1990
(No. 177), and is not intended to discourage competent authorities from adopting higher
1.2. Application
1.2.1. This code applies to any work activity in which chemicals are used, except
those branches of economic activity, enterprises or products specifically excluded from
the application of this code by the competent authority.
1.2.2. The code should also be applied to such self-employed persons and
homeworkers as are specified in national laws or regulations, who may be affected by
the use of chemicals during a work activity and whose use of chemicals may affect the
health and safety of other workers.
1.2.3. The provisions of this code should be considered as basic requirements for
preventing or reducing the risks to workers’ health and safety when using hazardous
chemicals. The most representative organisations of employers and workers concerned
should be consulted by the competent authority on the measures to be taken to give full
effect to the provisions of Convention No. 170 and Recommendation No. 177.

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