A possible approach for the protection of confidential information

Annex: A possible approach for the protection
of confidential information
1. Introduction
In achieving an appropriate balance in 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 or health of workers are not
compromised thereby”, as specified in Article 1, paragraph 2 (b), of the Chemicals
Convention, 1990 (No. 170), and depending on national law and practice, the
competent authority may take into account the guidance in this annex.
2. General requirements
All safety and health information should be provided on the label or chemical
safety data sheet. However, in those circumstances where the name or concentration of
an ingredient of a chemical mixture is confidential information, the competent authority
should establish special provision for its protection, so long as the safety and health of
the worker is not compromised and provided that the supplier or employer:
(a) can support the claim that information is confidential information in accordance
with national law and practice;
(b) discloses all other required information concerning the hazardous chemical on the
label and chemical safety data sheet;
(c) indicates on the chemical safety data sheet that the specific chemical identity or
composition is being withheld as confidential information;
(d) makes available the specific chemical identity or composition to safety and health
professionals, workers and workers’ representatives in accordance with the
provisions of this Annex.
3. Emergency disclosure
Where a treating physician or nurse determines that a medical emergency exists
due to exposure to a hazardous chemical, the supplier or employer should immediately
disclose the confidential information necessary for treatment to the treating physician or
nurse, who should maintain the confidentiality of the information.
4. Non-emergency disclosure
4.1. In non-emergency situations, a supplier or employer should, upon request,
disclose confidential information to a safety or health professional (e.g. physician,
industrial hygienist, safety engineer, toxicologist, epidemiologist, occupational health
nurse) providing medical or other occupational safety and health services to exposed
workers, and to workers or workers’ representatives, on condition that:

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