The foundation of an effective chemicals management program depends on the establishment of policies and procedures to appropriately manage chemicals throughout their life cycle. For each stage in the life cycle, policies and procedures that define legal and other requirements, responsible persons, and appropriate work practices and controls need to be developed.
Part of managing chemicals is also being able to identify and eliminate hazardous chemicals at the beginning stages and preventing them from entering the production process (input stream management). By considering hazard prevention solutions in addition to hazard control, it is possible to create more positive outcomes for consumers, workers, and the environment.
An effective chemicals management system will have in place policies and procedures addressing the following:
- Chemical procurement and purchasing
- Compliance with applicable regulatory requirements and lists of restricted substances
- Hazard communications within the organization
- Safe storage, handling, use, and disposal of chemicals
- Control systems to prevent worker and environmental exposure to chemicals
Framework and certification from internationally recognized management systems such as ISO 9001 or ISO 140001 may be referenced and/or utilized in developing your own chemicals management program.