Chemical safety: the essentials in brief

Chemical safety addresses the following considerations:

  • Who may acquire or trade chemicals?
  • What chemicals may be acquired or traded?
  • What emissions to air are permitted?
  • What may be discharged with wastewater?
  • How can substances be discharged that must be disposed of by a qualified company?
  • What risks arise in the handling of chemicals?
  • What measures must be taken to reduce the risks to an acceptable level

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What is chemical safety?

Chemical safety means familiarizing oneself with the properties of chemicals even before they are procured. 

  • It may be worthwhile to limit the storage quantity, for example, to limit the fire load.
  • The storage of chemicals is regulated to prevent dangerous reactions between stored chemicals (storage concept).
  • If hazards arise from chemicals - whether they are reactants, intermediates of a chemical conversion, products or by-products - these are to be assessed in good time by recording the substance properties and a risk analysis. Based on this analysis, the measures necessary to ensure safe operation are then defined.
  • But it is also worthwhile to make timely clarifications regarding ingredients in or on the product. So it can be avoided that this contains substances that are already banned or are on the candidate list for a ban.

Legislation on chemical safety

Swiss legislation regulates the protection of water, soil and air. It regulates the protection of people who handle chemicals professionally and of private individuals. It also prohibits the use of chemicals that can cause serious long-term damage.

Possible hazards of chemicals

The term chemical covers a very broad field. Chemicals can have a considerable hazard potential. Accordingly, chemicals can be absolutely harmless, but they can also pose dangers.

Physical hazards that can arise from chemicals:

  • Explosive substances
  • Flammable gases
  • Oxidizing gases
  • Flammable substances
  • Self-reactive substances and mixtures
  • Pyrophoric (self-igniting) substances
  • Self-heating substances and mixtures
  • Substances or mixtures, which, in contact with water, evolve flammable gases
  • Oxidizing substances
  • Organic peroxides
  • Substances and mixtures which are corrosive to metals

Physical hazards which may arise from substances hazardous to health:

  • Acute toxic substances 
  • Corrosive substances
  • Sensitizing substances
  • Carcinogenic substances
  • Reproductive toxicity

In addition, environmentally hazardous substances.

Often hazardous substances have several hazards at the same time. Particular attention must also be paid to substances that are not degraded in nature or only very slowly and can therefore have a harmful effect over many years. 

Who needs to deal with it?

Whoever handles chemicals must be concerned with chemical safety.

How does SBIS support?

The SBIS AG has experts in the field of chemical safety.

  • We check your list of chemicals for substances of particular concern and develop recommendations.
  • We develop a storage concept.
  • We check the handling of chemicals in your operation and advise you.
  • We train your employees.
  • We know the chemicals law and are therefore able to support you in contacts with authorities and inspections.
  • SBIS inspects your operation for legal compliance and chemical safety: 
    • Legal compliance 
    • Risk and hazard assessments 
    • Advice on management, storage and disposal of chemicals
    • Training of employees 
    • Safety measures planning 
    • Emergency preparedness 

Make a non-binding request about chemical safety