REACH Compliance in the Metal Surface Treatment Industry
Focus on REACH compliance in the Metal Surface Treatment industry
HSENI in conjunction with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) will be inspecting companies across Northern Ireland who work in the metal surface treatment industry.
The inspections will take place during July and August to assess compliance with the requirements of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (REACH).
Several chromates are restricted or require authorisation under REACH, including many that are used in metal surface treatment to provide a durable finish to surfaces. Chromates can enter the body by breathing dust, fumes and mist, skin contact or ingestion. The risks associated with single exposure include irritation to the nose, respiratory tract, and skin, while repeated exposure can cause more long-term damage such as inflammation of the lungs, allergic reactions and cancer in some organs.
The requirements on duty holders include:
- Ensuring an authorisation is in place to cover all users
- Labelling requirements are met
- Exposure is adequately controlled
- Adequate pollution prevention controls are in place, and
- Notifying the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) upon becoming a downstream user
Manufacturers, importers, and downstream users who use or supply chromium VI compounds will be affected and have duties to fulfil under REACH.
HSENI Inspectors will focus on ensuring that requirements are met within the supply chain. NIEA officials will focus on emissions monitoring, storage, and containment compliance within the controls required to protect the environment and human health.
HSENI and NIEA will work with businesses to achieve compliance by providing information and support as required.