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C170ChemicalsConvention,1990(No.170)
ConventionconcerningSafetyintheuseofChemicalsatWork
(Entryintoforce:04Nov1993)Adoption:Geneva,77thILCsession
(25Jun1990)Status:Uptodateinstrument(Technical
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Convention).
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Preamble
TheGeneralConferenceoftheInternationalLabourOrganisation,
HavingbeenconvenedatGenevabytheGoverningBodyoftheInternationalLabourOffice,andhavingmet
inits77thSessionon6June1990,and
NotingtherelevantinternationallabourConventionsandRecommendationsand,inparticular,theBenzene
ConventionandRecommendation,1971,theOccupationalCancerConventionandRecommendation,1974,
theWorkingEnvironment(AirPollution,NoiseandVibration)ConventionandRecommendation,1977,the
OccupationalSafetyandHealthConventionandRecommendation,1981,theOccupationalHealthServices
ConventionandRecommendation,1985,theAsbestosConventionandRecommendation,1986,andthelist
ofoccupationaldiseases,asamendedin1980,appendedtotheEmploymentInjuryBenefitsConvention,
1964,and
Notingthattheprotectionofworkersfromtheharmfuleffectsofchemicalsalsoenhancestheprotectionof
thegeneralpublicandtheenvironment,and
Notingthatworkershaveaneedfor,andrightto,informationaboutthechemicalstheyuseatwork,and
Consideringthatitisessentialtopreventorreducetheincidenceofchemicallyinducedillnessesandinjuries
atworkby:
(a)ensuringthatallchemicalsareevaluatedtodeterminetheirhazards
(b)providingemployerswithamechanismtoobtainfromsuppliersinformationaboutthechemicalsused
atworksothattheycanimplementeffectiveprogrammestoprotectworkersfromchemicalhazards
(c)providingworkerswithinformationaboutthechemicalsattheirworkplaces,andaboutappropriate
preventivemeasuressothattheycaneffectivelyparticipateinprotectiveprogrammes
(d)establishingprinciplesforsuchprogrammestoensurethatchemicalsareusedsafely,and
HavingregardtotheneedforcooperationwithintheInternationalProgrammeonChemicalSafetybetween
theInternationalLabourOrganisation,theUnitedNationsEnvironmentProgrammeandtheWorldHealth
OrganisationaswellaswiththeFoodandAgricultureOrganisationoftheUnitedNationsandtheUnited
NationsIndustrialDevelopmentOrganisation,andnotingtherelevantinstruments,codesandguidelines
promulgatedbytheseorganisations,and
Havingdecidedupontheadoptionofcertainproposalswithregardtosafetyintheuseofchemicalsatwork,
whichisthefifthitemontheagendaofthesession,and
HavingdeterminedthattheseproposalsshalltaketheformofaninternationalConvention
adoptsthistwentyfifthdayofJuneoftheyearonethousandninehundredandninetythefollowing
Convention,whichmaybecitedastheChemicalsConvention,1990:

PARTI.SCOPEANDDEFINITIONS
Article1

1.1.ThisConventionappliestoallbranchesofeconomicactivityinwhichchemicalsareused.
2.2.ThecompetentauthorityofaMemberratifyingthisConvention,afterconsultingthemost
representativeorganisationsofemployersandworkersconcerned,andonthebasisofanassessmentof
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thehazardsinvolvedandtheprotectivemeasurestobeapplied:
(a)mayexcludeparticularbranchesofeconomicactivity,undertakingsorproductsfromtheapplication
oftheConvention,orcertainprovisionsthereof,when:
(i)specialproblemsofasubstantialnatureariseand
(ii)theoverallprotectionaffordedinpursuanceofnationallawandpracticeisnotinferiortothat
whichwouldresultfromthefullapplicationoftheprovisionsoftheConvention
(b)shallmakespecialprovisiontoprotectconfidentialinformationwhosedisclosuretoacompetitor
wouldbeliabletocauseharmtoanemployer'sbusinesssolongasthesafetyandhealthofworkersare
notcompromisedthereby.
3.3.ThisConventiondoesnotapplytoarticleswhichwillnotexposeworkerstoahazardouschemical
undernormalorreasonablyforeseeableconditionsofuse.
4.4.ThisConventiondoesnotapplytoorganisms,butdoesapplytochemicalsderivedfromorganisms.
Article2

ForthepurposesofthisConvention:
(a)thetermchemicalsmeanschemicalelementsandcompounds,andmixturesthereof,whethernaturalor
synthetic
(b)thetermhazardouschemicalincludesanychemicalwhichhasbeenclassifiedashazardousin
accordancewithArticle6orforwhichrelevantinformationexiststoindicatethatthechemicalis
hazardous
(c)thetermuseofchemicalsatworkmeansanyworkactivitywhichmayexposeaworkertoachemical,
including:
(i)theproductionofchemicals
(ii)thehandlingofchemicals
(iii)thestorageofchemicals
(iv)thetransportofchemicals
(v)thedisposalandtreatmentofwastechemicals
(vi)thereleaseofchemicalsresultingfromworkactivities
(vii)themaintenance,repairandcleaningofequipmentandcontainersforchemicals
(d)thetermbranchesofeconomicactivitymeansallbranchesinwhichworkersareemployed,including
thepublicservice
(e)thetermarticlemeansanobjectwhichisformedtoaspecificshapeordesignduringitsmanufactureor
whichisinitsnaturalshape,andwhoseuseinthatformisdependentinwholeorinpartonitsshapeor
design
(f)thetermworkers'representativesmeanspersonswhoarerecognisedassuchbynationallawor
practice,inaccordancewiththeWorkers'RepresentativesConvention,1971.

PARTII.GENERALPRINCIPLES
Article3

Themostrepresentativeorganisationsofemployersandworkersconcernedshallbeconsultedonthe
measurestobetakentogiveeffecttotheprovisionsofthisConvention.
Article4

Inthelightofnationalconditionsandpracticeandinconsultationwiththemostrepresentativeorganisations
ofemployersandworkers,eachMembershallformulate,implementandperiodicallyreviewacoherent
policyonsafetyintheuseofchemicalsatwork.
Article5

Thecompetentauthorityshallhavethepower,ifjustifiedonsafetyandhealthgrounds,toprohibitorrestrict
theuseofcertainhazardouschemicals,ortorequireadvancenotificationandauthorisationbeforesuch
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chemicalsareused.

PARTIII.CLASSIFICATIONANDRELATEDMEASURES
Article6
CLASSIFICATIONSYSTEMS

1.1.Systemsandspecificcriteriaappropriatefortheclassificationofallchemicalsaccordingtothetypeand
degreeoftheirintrinsichealthandphysicalhazardsandforassessingtherelevanceoftheinformation
requiredtodeterminewhetherachemicalishazardousshallbeestablishedbythecompetentauthority,or
byabodyapprovedorrecognisedbythecompetentauthority,inaccordancewithnationalorinternational
standards.
2.2.Thehazardouspropertiesofmixturescomposedoftwoormorechemicalsmaybedeterminedby
assessmentsbasedontheintrinsichazardsoftheircomponentchemicals.
3.3.Inthecaseoftransport,suchsystemsandcriteriashalltakeintoaccounttheUnitedNations
Recommendationsonthetransportofdangerousgoods.
4.4.Theclassificationsystemsandtheirapplicationshallbeprogressivelyextended.
Article7
LABELLINGANDMARKING

1.1.Allchemicalsshallbemarkedsoastoindicatetheiridentity.
2.2.Hazardouschemicalsshallinadditionbelabelled,inawayeasilyunderstandabletotheworkers,soas
toprovideessentialinformationregardingtheirclassification,thehazardstheypresentandthesafety
precautionstobeobserved.
3.3.
(1)Requirementsformarkingorlabellingchemicalspursuanttoparagraphs1and2ofthisArticleshall
beestablishedbythecompetentauthority,orbyabodyapprovedorrecognisedbythecompetent
authority,inaccordancewithnationalorinternationalstandards.
(2)Inthecaseoftransport,suchrequirementsshalltakeintoaccounttheUnitedNations
Recommendationsonthetransportofdangerousgoods.
Article8
CHEMICALSAFETYDATASHEETS

1.1.Forhazardouschemicals,chemicalsafetydatasheetscontainingdetailedessentialinformation
regardingtheiridentity,supplier,classification,hazards,safetyprecautionsandemergencyprocedures
shallbeprovidedtoemployers.
2.2.Criteriaforthepreparationofchemicalsafetydatasheetsshallbeestablishedbythecompetent
authority,orbyabodyapprovedorrecognisedbythecompetentauthority,inaccordancewithnationalor
internationalstandards.
3.3.Thechemicalorcommonnameusedtoidentifythechemicalonthechemicalsafetydatasheetshallbe
thesameasthatusedonthelabel.
Article9
RESPONSIBILITIESOFSUPPLIERS

1.1.Suppliersofchemicals,whethermanufacturers,importersordistributors,shallensurethat:
(a)suchchemicalshavebeenclassifiedinaccordancewithArticle6onthebasisofknowledgeoftheir
propertiesandasearchofavailableinformationorassessedinaccordancewithparagraph3below
(b)suchchemicalsaremarkedsoastoindicatetheiridentityinaccordancewithArticle7,paragraph1
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(c)hazardouschemicalstheysupplyarelabelledinaccordancewithArticle7,paragraph2
(d)chemicalsafetydatasheetsarepreparedforsuchhazardouschemicalsinaccordancewithArticle8,
paragraph1,andprovidedtoemployers.
2.2.Suppliersofhazardouschemicalsshallensurethatrevisedlabelsandchemicalsafetydatasheetsare
preparedandprovidedtoemployers,byamethodwhichaccordswithnationallawandpractice,whenever
newrelevantsafetyandhealthinformationbecomesavailable.
3.3.SuppliersofchemicalswhichhavenotyetbeenclassifiedinaccordancewithArticle6shallidentify
thechemicalstheysupplyandassessthepropertiesofthesechemicalsonthebasisofasearchofavailable
informationinordertodeterminewhethertheyarehazardouschemicals.

PARTIV.RESPONSIBILITIESOFEMPLOYERS
Article10
IDENTIFICATION

1.1.EmployersshallensurethatallchemicalsusedatworkarelabelledormarkedasrequiredbyArticle7
andthatchemicalsafetydatasheetshavebeenprovidedasrequiredbyArticle8andaremadeavailableto
workersandtheirrepresentatives.
2.2.EmployersreceivingchemicalsthathavenotbeenlabelledormarkedasrequiredunderArticle7,orfor
whichchemicalsafetydatasheetshavenotbeenprovidedasrequiredunderArticle8,shallobtainthe
relevantinformationfromthesupplierorfromotherreasonablyavailablesources,andshallnotusethe
chemicalsuntilsuchinformationisobtained.
3.3.EmployersshallensurethatonlychemicalswhichareclassifiedinaccordancewithArticle6or
identifiedandassessedinaccordancewithArticle9,paragraph3,andlabelledormarkedinaccordance
withArticle7areusedandthatanynecessaryprecautionsaretakenwhentheyareused.
4.4.Employersshallmaintainarecordofhazardouschemicalsusedattheworkplace,crossreferencedto
theappropriatechemicalsafetydatasheets.Thisrecordshallbeaccessibletoallworkersconcernedand
theirrepresentatives.
Article11
TRANSFEROFCHEMICALS

Employersshallensurethatwhenchemicalsaretransferredintoothercontainersorequipment,thecontents
areindicatedinamannerwhichwillmakeknowntoworkerstheiridentity,anyhazardsassociatedwiththeir
useandanysafetyprecautionstobeobserved.
Article12
EXPOSURE

Employersshall:
(a)ensurethatworkersarenotexposedtochemicalstoanextentwhichexceedsexposurelimitsorother
exposurecriteriafortheevaluationandcontroloftheworkingenvironmentestablishedbythecompetent
authority,orbyabodyapprovedorrecognisedbythecompetentauthority,inaccordancewithnationalor
internationalstandards
(b)assesstheexposureofworkerstohazardouschemicals
(c)monitorandrecordtheexposureofworkerstohazardouschemicalswhenthisisnecessarytosafeguard
theirsafetyandhealthorasmaybeprescribedbythecompetentauthority
(d)ensurethattherecordsofthemonitoringoftheworkingenvironmentandoftheexposureofworkers
usinghazardouschemicalsarekeptforaperiodprescribedbythecompetentauthorityandareaccessible
totheworkersandtheirrepresentatives.

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Article13
OPERATIONALCONTROL

1.1.Employersshallmakeanassessmentoftherisksarisingfromtheuseofchemicalsatwork,andshall
protectworkersagainstsuchrisksbyappropriatemeans,suchas:
(a)thechoiceofchemicalsthateliminateorminimisetherisk
(b)thechoiceoftechnologythateliminatesorminimisestherisk
(c)theuseofadequateengineeringcontrolmeasures
(d)theadoptionofworkingsystemsandpracticesthateliminateorminimisetherisk
(e)theadoptionofadequateoccupationalhygienemeasures
(f)whererecoursetotheabovemeasuresdoesnotsuffice,theprovisionandpropermaintenanceof
personalprotectiveequipmentandclothingatnocosttotheworker,andtheimplementationof
measurestoensuretheiruse.
2.2.Employersshall:
(a)limitexposuretohazardouschemicalssoastoprotectthesafetyandhealthofworkers
(b)providefirstaid
(c)makearrangementstodealwithemergencies.
Article14
DISPOSAL

Hazardouschemicalswhicharenolongerrequiredandcontainerswhichhavebeenemptiedbutwhichmay
containresiduesofhazardouschemicals,shallbehandledordisposedofinamannerwhicheliminatesor
minimisestherisktosafetyandhealthandtotheenvironment,inaccordancewithnationallawandpractice.
Article15
INFORMATIONANDTRAINING

Employersshall:
(a)informtheworkersofthehazardsassociatedwithexposuretochemicalsusedattheworkplace
(b)instructtheworkershowtoobtainandusetheinformationprovidedonlabelsandchemicalsafetydata
sheets
(c)usethechemicalsafetydatasheets,alongwithinformationspecifictotheworkplace,asabasisforthe
preparationofinstructionstoworkers,whichshouldbewrittenifappropriate
(d)traintheworkersonacontinuingbasisinthepracticesandprocedurestobefollowedforsafetyinthe
useofchemicalsatwork.
Article16
COOPERATION

Employers,indischargingtheirresponsibilities,shallcooperateascloselyaspossiblewithworkersortheir
representativeswithrespecttosafetyintheuseofchemicalsatwork.

PARTV.DUTIESOFWORKERS
Article17

1.1.Workersshallcooperateascloselyaspossiblewiththeiremployersinthedischargebytheemployers
oftheirresponsibilitiesandcomplywithallproceduresandpracticesrelatingtosafetyintheuseof
chemicalsatwork.
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2.2.Workersshalltakeallreasonablestepstoeliminateorminimiserisktothemselvesandtoothersfrom
theuseofchemicalsatwork.

PARTVI.RIGHTSOFWORKERSANDTHEIR
REPRESENTATIVES
Article18

1.1.Workersshallhavetherighttoremovethemselvesfromdangerresultingfromtheuseofchemicals
whentheyhavereasonablejustificationtobelievethereisanimminentandseriousrisktotheirsafetyor
health,andshallinformtheirsupervisorimmediately.
2.2.Workerswhoremovethemselvesfromdangerinaccordancewiththeprovisionsoftheprevious
paragraphorwhoexerciseanyotherrightsunderthisConventionshallbeprotectedagainstundue
consequences.
3.3.Workersconcernedandtheirrepresentativesshallhavetherightto:
(a)informationontheidentityofchemicalsusedatwork,thehazardouspropertiesofsuchchemicals,
precautionarymeasures,educationandtraining
(b)theinformationcontainedinlabelsandmarkings
(c)chemicalsafetydatasheets
(d)anyotherinformationrequiredtobekeptbythisConvention.
4.4.Wheredisclosureofthespecificidentityofaningredientofachemicalmixturetoacompetitorwould
beliabletocauseharmtotheemployer'sbusiness,theemployermay,inprovidingtheinformation
requiredunderparagraph3above,protectthatidentityinamannerapprovedbythecompetentauthority
underArticle1,paragraph2(b).

PARTVII.RESPONSIBILITYOFEXPORTINGSTATES
Article19

WheninanexportingmemberStateallorsomeusesofhazardouschemicalsareprohibitedforreasonsof
safetyandhealthatwork,thisfactandthereasonsforitshallbecommunicatedbytheexportingmember
Statetoanyimportingcountry.
Article20

TheformalratificationsofthisConventionshallbecommunicatedtotheDirectorGeneralofthe
InternationalLabourOfficeforregistration.
Article21

1.1.ThisConventionshallbebindingonlyuponthoseMembersoftheInternationalLabourOrganisation
whoseratificationshavebeenregisteredwiththeDirectorGeneral.
2.2.ItshallcomeintoforcetwelvemonthsafterthedateonwhichtheratificationsoftwoMembershave
beenregisteredwiththeDirectorGeneral.
3.3.Thereafter,thisConventionshallcomeintoforceforanyMembertwelvemonthsafterthedateon
whichitsratificationhasbeenregistered.
Article22

1.1.AMemberwhichhasratifiedthisConventionmaydenounceitaftertheexpirationoftenyearsfrom
thedateonwhichtheConventionfirstcomesintoforce,byanactcommunicatedtotheDirectorGeneral
oftheInternationalLabourOfficeforregistration.Suchdenunciationshallnottakeeffectuntiloneyear
afterthedateonwhichitisregistered.
2.2.EachMemberwhichhasratifiedthisConventionandwhichdoesnot,withintheyearfollowingthe
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expirationoftheperiodoftenyearsmentionedintheprecedingparagraph,exercisetherightof
denunciationprovidedforinthisArticle,willbeboundforanotherperiodoftenyearsand,thereafter,
maydenouncethisConventionattheexpirationofeachperiodoftenyearsunderthetermsprovidedfor
inthisArticle.
Article23

1.1.TheDirectorGeneraloftheInternationalLabourOfficeshallnotifyallMembersoftheInternational
LabourOrganisationoftheregistrationofallratificationsanddenunciationscommunicatedtohimbythe
MembersoftheOrganisation.
2.2.WhennotifyingtheMembersoftheOrganisationoftheregistrationofthesecondratification
communicatedtohim,theDirectorGeneralshalldrawtheattentionoftheMembersoftheOrganisation
tothedateuponwhichtheConventionwillcomeintoforce.
Article24

TheDirectorGeneraloftheInternationalLabourOfficeshallcommunicatetotheSecretaryGeneralofthe
UnitedNationsforregistrationinaccordancewithArticle102oftheCharteroftheUnitedNationsfull
particularsofallratificationsandactsofdenunciationregisteredbyhiminaccordancewiththeprovisionsof
theprecedingArticles.
Article25

AtsuchtimesasitmayconsidernecessarytheGoverningBodyoftheInternationalLabourOfficeshall
presenttotheGeneralConferenceareportontheworkingofthisConventionandshallexaminethe
desirabilityofplacingontheagendaoftheConferencethequestionofitsrevisioninwholeorinpart.
Article26

1.1.ShouldtheConferenceadoptanewConventionrevisingthisConventioninwholeorinpart,then,
unlessthenewConventionotherwiseprovides:
(a)theratificationbyaMemberofthenewrevisingConventionshallipsojureinvolvetheimmediate
denunciationofthisConvention,notwithstandingtheprovisionsofArticle22above,ifandwhenthe
newrevisingConventionshallhavecomeintoforce
(b)asfromthedatewhenthenewrevisingConventioncomesintoforcethisConventionshallceaseto
beopentoratificationbytheMembers.
2.2.ThisConventionshallinanycaseremaininforceinitsactualformandcontentforthoseMembers
whichhaveratifieditbuthavenotratifiedtherevisingConvention.
Article27

TheEnglishandFrenchversionsofthetextofthisConventionareequallyauthoritative.
Seealso
Ratificationsbycountry
Submissionstocompetentauthoritiesbycountry
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