Limit Values & Hazard Communication

A number of countries and jurisdictions have established specific regulatory requirements for hazard communication relating to the handling, use and presence of chemicals in the workplace. Such information must be relayed to workers and sometimes to a variety of “end-users” of the chemical, as well as any other parties that may be affected by exposure to the chemical.

In 1990, the International Labour Organization (ILO) published a report, Safety in the Use of Chemicals at Work, as a reference source for both producers and users of chemicals, including metals and metal alloys. Generally speaking, three components were identified by the ILO as composing a hazard communication program:

  • labeling,
  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), and
  • worker training.

The producer/supplier is responsible for preparing labels and MSDSs and seeing that these are delivered to its customers. Worker training is the responsibility of all employers, regardless of industry sector. As important differences may exist between jurisdictions, some of the general requirements of selected countries or regions currently implementing such programs are briefly noted in this section. Employers should contact their relevant authorities for further detailed information on such programs and any specific requirements pertaining to nickel.