A pilot survey on usability and effectiveness of extended data sheets of chemicals
Under REACH, companies are responsible for managing chemicals safely and to inform downstream users by means of the extended safety data sheets (e-SDS), so that they also can handle safely these chemicals.The project results from a collaboration between Inail (National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work,) and Echa (European Chemicals Agency), to gather information from downstream users on the usability and effectiveness of the e-SDS. The impact that e-SDS have on the chemical risk assessment process and on the risk management measures was also investigated.
The study involved 1598 companies of the Wood, Plastic Rubber, Tanning, Paper and Cardboard, and Textiles sectors, extracted from the Inail archive of insured companies.
All companies were asked to complete an online questionnaire, using the Computer Assisted Web Interviewing (CAWI) technique, accessible from any mobile device. The response rate was 44%, higher than the average of CAWI surveys, with peaks for the wood sector and for company size of 10 - 49 employees.
The e-SDS resulted of fundamental importance for drafting the Chemicals Risk Assessment Document. This relevance increases as the company size decreases, but at the same time the difficulty in interpreting and using the information increases.
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