Chemicals Convention, 1990 , No. 170
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
Noting the relevant international labour Conventions and Recommendations and, in particular, the Benzene Convention and Recommendation, 1971, the Occupational Cancer Convention and Recommendation, 1974, the Working Environment (Air Pollution, Noise Vibration) Convention and Recommendation, 1977, the href="c155.htm">Occupational Safety and Health Convention and Recommendation Services Convention and href="r171.htm">Recommendation, 1985 the Asbestos Convention and Recommendation1986, and the list of
Noting that the protection of workers from the harmful effects of chemicals also enhances the protection of the general public and the environment, and
Noting that workers have a need for, and right to, information about the chemicals they use at work, and
Having regard to the need for co-operation within the International Programme on Chemical Safety between the International Labour Organisation, the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Health Organisation as well as with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, and noting the relevant instruments, codes and guide-lines promulgated by these organisations, 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 an international Convention;
adopts this twenty-fifth day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and ninety the following Convention, which may be cited as the Chemicals Convention, 1990:
PART I. SCOPE AND DEFINITIONS
1. This Convention applies to all branches of economic activity in which chemicals are used.
3. This Convention does not apply to articles which will not expose workers to a hazardous chemical under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use.
4. This Convention does not apply to organisms, but does apply to chemicals derived from organisms.
PART II. GENERAL PRINCIPLES
The most representative organisations of employers and workers concerned shall be consulted on the measures to be taken to give effect to the provisions of this Convention.
In the light of national conditions and practice and in consultation with the most representative organisations of employers and workers, each Member shall formulate, implement and periodically review a coherent policy on safety in the use of chemicals at work.
The competent authority shall have the power, if justified on safety and health grounds, to prohibit or restrict the use of certain hazardous chemicals, or to require advance notification and authorisation before such chemicals are used.
PART III. CLASSIFICATION AND RELATED MEASURES
Article 6CLASSIFICATION SYSTEMS
1. Systems and specific criteria appropriate for the classification of all chemicals according to the type and degree of their intrinsic health and physical hazards and for assessing the relevance of the information required to determine whether a chemical is hazardous shall be established by the competent authority, or by a body approved or recognised by the competent authority, in accordance with national or international standards.
2. The hazardous properties of mixtures composed of two or more chemicals may be determined by assessments based on the intrinsic hazards of their component chemicals.
3. In the case of transport, such systems and criteria shall take into account the United Nations Recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods.
4. The classification systems and their application shall be progressively extended.
Article 7LABELLING AND MARKING
1. All chemicals shall be marked so as to indicate their identity.
2. Hazardous chemicals shall in addition be labelled, in a way easily understandable to the workers, so as to provide essential information regarding their classification, the hazards they present and the safety precautions to be observed.
Article 8CHEMICAL SAFETY DATA SHEETS
1. For hazardous chemicals, chemical safety data sheets containing detailed essential information regarding their identity, supplier classification, hazards, safety precautions and emergency procedures shall be provided to employers.
2. Criteria for the preparation of chemical safety data sheets shall be established by the competent authority, or by a body approved or recognised by the competent authority, in accordance with national or international standards.
3. The chemical or common name used to identify the chemical on the chemical safety data sheet shall be the same as that used on the label.
Article 9RESPONSIBILITIES OF SUPPLIERS
2. Suppliers of hazardous chemicals shall ensure that revised labels and chemical safety data sheets are prepared and provided to employers, by a method which accords with national law and practice, whenever new relevant safety and health information becomes available.
3. Suppliers of chemicals which have not yet been classified in accordance with Article 6 shall identify the chemicals they supply and assess the properties of these chemicals on the basis of a search of available information in order to determine whether they are hazardous chemicals.
PART IV. RESPONSIBILITIES OF EMPLOYERS
1. Employers shall ensure that all chemicals used at work are labelled or marked as required by Article 7 and that chemical safety data sheets have been provided as required by Article 8 and are made available to workers and their representatives.
2. Employers receiving chemicals that have not been labelled or marked as required under Article 7, or for which chemical safety data sheets have not been provided as required under Article 8 shall obtain the relevant information from the supplier or from other reasonably available sources, and shall not use the chemicals until such information is obtained.
3. Employers shall ensure that only chemicals which are classified in accordance with Article 6 or identified and assessed in accordance with Article 9, paragraph 3, and labelled or marked in accordance with Article 7 are used and that any necessary precautions are taken when they are used.
4. Employers shall maintain a record of hazardous chemicals used at the workplace, cross-referenced to the appropriate chemical safety data sheets. This record shall be accessible to all workers concerned and their representatives.
Article 11TRANSFER OF CHEMICALS
Employers shall ensure that when chemicals are transferred into other containers or equipment, the contents are indicated in a manner which will make known to workers their identity, any hazards associated with their use and any safety precautions to be observed.
Article 13OPERATIONAL CONTROL
Hazardous chemicals which are no longer required and containers which have been emptied but which may contain residues of hazardous chemicals, shall be handled or disposed of in a manner which eliminates or minimises the risk to safety and health and to the environment, in accordance with national law and practice.
Article 15INFORMATION AND TRAINING
Employers, in discharging their responsibilities, shall co-operate as closely as possible with workers or their representatives with respect to safety in the use of chemicals at work.
PART V. DUTIES OF WORKERS
1. Workers shall co-operate as closely as possible with their employers in the discharge by the employers of their responsibilities and comply with all procedures and practices relating to safety in the use of chemicals at work.
2. Workers shall take all reasonable steps to eliminate or minimise risk to themselves and to others from the use of chemicals at work.
PART VI. RIGHTS OF WORKERS AND THEIR REPRESENTATIVES
1. Workers shall have the right to remove themselves from danger resulting from the use of chemicals when they have reasonable justification to believe there is an imminent and serious risk to their safety or health, and shall inform their supervisor immediately.
2. Workers who remove themselves from danger in accordance with the provisions of the previous paragraph or who exercise any other rights under this Convention shall be protected against undue consequences.
4. Where disclosure of the specific identity of an ingredient of a chemical mixture to a competitor would be liable to cause harm to the employer's business, the employer may, in providing the information required under paragraph 3 above, protect that identity in a manner approved by the competent authority under Article 1 paragraph 2 (b).
PART VII. RESPONSIBILITY OF EXPORTING STATES
When in an exporting member State all or some uses of hazardous chemicals are prohibited for reasons of safety and health at work this fact and the reasons for it shall be communicated by the exporting member State to any importing country.
Part VIII. Final Provisions
The formal ratifications of this Convention shall be communicated to the Director-General of the International Labour Office for registration.
1. This Convention shall be binding only upon those Members of the International Labour Organisation whose ratifications have been registered with the Director-General.
2. It shall come into force twelve months after the date on which the ratifications of two Members have been registered with the Director-General.
3. Thereafter, this Convention shall come into force for any Member twelve months after the date on which its ratification has been registered.
1. A Member which has ratified this Convention may denounce it after the expiration of ten years from the date on which the Convention first comes into force, by an act communicated to the Director-General of the International Labour Office for registration. Such denunciation shall not take effect until one year after the date on which it is registered.
2. Each Member which has ratified this Convention and which does not, within the year following the expiration of the period of ten years mentioned in the preceding paragraph, exercise the right of denunciation provided for in this Article, will be bound for another period of ten years and, thereafter, may denounce this Convention at the expiration of each period of ten years under the terms provided for in this Article.
1. The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall notify all Members of the International Labour Organisation of the registration of all ratifications and denunciations communicated to him by the Members of the Organisation.
2. When notifying the Members of the Organisation of the registration of the second ratification communicated to him, the Director-General shall draw the attention of the Members of the Organisation to the date upon which the Convention will come into force.
The Director-General of the International Labour Office shall communicate to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for registration in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations full particulars of all ratifications and acts of denunciation registered by him in accordance with the provisions of the preceding Articles.
At such times as it may consider necessary the Governing Body of the International Labour Office shall present to the General Conference a report on the working of this Convention and shall examine the desirability of placing on the agenda of the Conference the question of its revision in whole or in part.
2. This Convention shall in any case remain in force in its actual form and content for those Members which have ratified it but have not ratified the revising Convention.
The English and French versions of the text of this Convention are equally authoritative.