R177 - Chemicals Recommendation, 1990 (No. 177)

Emisor:Organización Internacional del Trabajo

The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met In Its 77th Session on 6 June 1990, and

Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to safety in the use of chemicals at work, which is the fifth item on the agenda of the session, and

Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of a Recommendation supplementing the Chemicals Convention, 1990;

adopts this twenty-fifth day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and ninety the following Recommendation, which may be cited as the Chemicals Recommendation, 1990.

  1. 1. The provisions of this Recommendation should be applied in conjunction with those of the Chemicals Convention, 1990 (hereafter referred to as "the Convention").
  2. 2. The most representative organisations of employers and workers concerned should be consulted on the measures to be taken to give effect to the provisions of this Recommendation.
  3. 3. The competent authority should specify categories of workers who for reasons of safety and health are not allowed to use specified chemicals or are allowed to use them only under conditions prescribed in accordance with national laws or regulations.
  4. 4. The provisions of this Recommendation should also apply to such self-employed persons as may be specified by national laws or regulations.
  5. 5. The special provisions established by the competent authority to protect confidential information, under Article 1, paragraph 2(b), and Article 18, paragraph 4, of the Convention, should
    • (a) limit the disclosure of confidential information to those who have a need related to workers' safety and health;
    • (b) ensure that those who obtain confidential information agree to use it only to address safety and health needs and otherwise to protect its confidentiality;
    • (c) provide that relevant confidential information be disclosed immediately in an emergency;
    • (d) provide for procedures to consider promptly the validity of the confidentiality claim and of the need for the information withheld where there is a disagreement regarding disclosure.
  1. 6. The criteria for the classification of chemicals established pursuant to Article 6, paragraph 1, of the Convention should be based upon the characteristics of chemicals including
    • (a) toxic properties, including both acute and chronic health effects in all parts of the body;
    • (b) chemical or physical characteristics, including flammable, explosive, oxidising and dangerously reactive properties;
    • (c) corrosive and irritant properties;
    • (d) allergenic and sensitising effects;
    • (e) carcinogenic effects;
    • (f) teratogenic and mutagenic effects;
    • (g) effects on the reproductive system.
  2. 7
    • (1) As far as is reasonably practicable, the competent authority should compile and periodically update a consolidated list of the chemical elements and compounds used at work, together with relevant hazard information.
    • (2) For chemical elements and compounds not yet included in the consolidated list, the manufacturers or importers should, unless exempted, be required to transmit to the competent authority, prior to use at work, and in a manner consistent with the protection of confidential information under Article 1, paragraph 2 (b), of the Convention, such information as is necessary for the maintenance of the list.
  1. 8
    • (1) The requirements for the labelling and marking of chemicals established pursuant to Article 7 of the Convention, should be such as to enable persons handling or using chemicals to recognise and distinguish between them both when receiving and when using them, so that they may be used safely.
    • (2) The labelling requirements for hazardous chemicals should, in conformity with existing national or international systems, cover:
    • (a) the information to be given on the label including as appropriate
      • (i) trade names;
      • (ii) identity of the chemical;
      • (iii) name, address and telephone number of the supplier;
      • (iv) hazard symbols;
      • (v) nature of the special risks associated with the use of the chemical;
      • (vi) safety precautions;
      • (vii) identification of the batch;
      • (viii) the statement that a chemical safety data sheet giving additional information is available from the employer;
      • (ix) the classification assigned under the system established by the competent authority;
    • (b) the legibility, durability and size of the label;
    • (c) the uniformity of labels and symbols, including colours.

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