Chemicals are used in virtually all work activities, thus presenting certain chemical
risks in a large number of workplaces all over the world. Many thousands of chemicals
are used in substantial quantities, and many new chemicals are also introduced into the
market each year. It is therefore an urgent task to establish a systematic approach to
safety in the use of chemicals at work.
An effective control of chemical risks at the workplace requires an efficient flow of
information from the manufacturers or importers to the users of chemicals on potential
hazards and on the safety precautions to be taken. This flow of information should be
followed by daily action by employers to ensure that the necessary measures are taken to
protect workers, and consequently the public and the environment.
In accordance with the decision taken by the Governing Body of the ILO at its
250th Session (May-June 1991), a meeting of experts was convened in Geneva from 24
March to 1 April 1992 to draw up a code of practice on safety in the use of chemicals at
work. The meeting was composed of seven experts appointed following consultations
with governments, seven following consultations with the Employers’ group and seven
following consultations with the Workers’ group of the Governing Body.1
1 Experts appointed following consultations with governments:
Mr. W. Allescher, Engineer, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Germany).
Dr. E. C. Enabulele, Deputy Director of Factories, Federal Ministry of Employment (Nigeria).
Mr. P. A. Novoa Fuenzalida, Doctor of Labour Law, Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare (Chile).
Mr. Krishnan C. Gupta, Director-General, Directorate General of Factory Advisory Services (India).
Mr. Evgeny A. Malov, Vice-President, State Committee of the Russian Federation for the Control of
Occupational Safety (Russian Federation).
Ms. Helene J. Orr, Manager, Standards Branch, National Occupational Health and Safety Commission
Ms. J. Silk, Senior Health Scientist, US Department of Labor (United States).
Experts appointed following consultation with the Employers’ group:
Mr. Aristide-Albert Batonon, Pharmacist-biologist (Benin).
Mr. Murray A. Cappers, c/o United States Council for International Business (United States).
Ms. Nuala Flavin, Health and Safety Executive, Federation of Irish Employers (Ireland).
Dr. Tio Lam Hauw, Head of Technological Laboratory, Shell Eastern Petroleum (Singapore).
Mr. Yoshitaka Hoshikawa, Director, Environment and Safety Department, Mitsubishi Petrochemical Co.
Dr. Horst Knies, Director for Occupational Safety and Health, BASF Aktiengesellschaft (Germany).
Mr. Pedro Chico Llaver, Vice-President, Health and Safety Committee, Argentine Industrial Union
Experts appointed following consultation with the Workers’ group:
Mr. Jim Centner, Occupational Safety and Health Adviser, United Steelworkers’ Union of America
Mr. Lajos Fócze, President, Chemical Workers’ Union (VDSZ) (Hungary).
Mr. Øle Heegaard, Occupational Safety and Health Department, LO-Denmark (Denmark).
Mr. Erhard Lechelt, Occupational Safety and Health Department, IG Chemie, Papier, Keramik
Dr. Héctor San Román, Director, Occupational Safety and Health, Confederation of Mexican Workers