July 2022, India’s Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals and the International Labour Organization (ILO) signed a memorandum of understanding to adapt to the International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSCs).
The ICSCs are developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the ILO with European Commission cooperation. It aims at safeguarding the occupational safety and health of workers. The ICSCs consist of special data sheets that provide basic information on the safety of chemicals and their influence on health at workplace. Moreover, information provided on the cards also includes the UN Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of classification and labelling of chemicals. The information will be regularly updated so that information in the cards can be the most up-to-date. Currently there are 1784 ICSCs available in the database.
The ICSCs have been adopted in workplace at the request of the Chemicals and Petrochemicals Manufacturer’s Association.
Information provided in the ICSCs includes:
1. Properties of chemicals;
2. Fire and explosion hazards;
3. Fire fighting;
4. Acute health hazards and prevention;
5. Preventive measures;
6. First aid;
7. Spillage disposal, storage and packaging;
8. Classification and labelling;
9. Physical and chemical properties and dangers;
10. Short-term and long-term health effects;
11. Regulatory information and occupational exposure limits;
12. Environmental data.
Currently, the ICSCs are available in 15 languages. The ILO is planning to translate the cards into other languages spoken in India, thus more workers can be benefited.
Information provided on the Cards aligns the UN GHS. India has not yet officially adopted the GHS. But according to its draft Chemical (Management and Safety) Rules 20XX (CMSR), it does plan to implement GHS.
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