2004/42/EC – The Product Directive

This European directive is aimed at specific markets with determined solvent levels. A two tier system with VOC levels set at the start of 2007 with further reductions required from 1st Jan 2010. Morrells Flooring and Exterior joinery products comply with this European directive. All other products are out of scope.

COSHH – The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health

This legislation has been in place since 1988 and requires employers to assess the health risks of the products they use and where practicable replace with less hazardous products or reduce the usage of more hazardous products and to control the risks of using hazardous products.

REACH – Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation of Chemicals

You may or may not be aware of the new EU regulation – REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) which became law across the EU on 1st June 2007. REACH ushers in a new era for the management of chemicals and means some significant shifts in responsibility between industry and regulatory authorities.

Although its name implies that it might just be of interest to the “chemicals” sector, REACH is very broad in scope. Potentially it may impact across many business sectors – businesses which may manufacture, import and/or use chemicals but either do not realise it or do not think they would be covered – for example chemicals in imported articles (finished goods) are covered in REACH. Further information on REACH can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/reach.

The Health and Safety Executive is the UK Government’s Competent Authority (CA) for REACH. As part of this role, the CA is undertaking a series of awareness raising events across the country to ensure that as many businesses as possible can be made aware of REACH, decide if and/or how it may impact on them and, if necessary, start to prepare themselves for what will be some key actions next year. These events begin with CA-organised national conferences in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales during September and October.

The conferences are aimed primarily at those in UK business who have no or little knowledge of REACH. This may be members of your trade body and/or companies down their supply chains. In fact if you have not heard about REACH or are only vaguely aware of it then you may consider attending one of these conferences yourself so that you can judge how much it might impact on your members’ business interests.

The fiyer gives more details of these events and the intended audience. The events are free to attend but places are limited. Details (e-mail, telephone or surface mail) of how to register an interest in attending are given in the fiyer. Because we realise that not everyone can get to these events, we are planning a series of regional road shows around the UK following these conferences through until next April. If your members are unable to make one of these events and wish to express an interest in attending a follow-up road show then they should do so using the same contact details for the conference registration but indicating where in the UK they are located.

DSEAR – Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmosphere Regulations

This legislation is concerned with protection against risks from fire, explosion and similar events arising from the use of dangerous substances in the workplace. They set minimum requirements for the protection of workers from fire and explosion risks related to the dangerous substances and potentially explosive atmospheres.

1999/13/EC – Solvent Directive

This supersedes the requirement of the EPA 1990 Regulations in relation to the coatings industry. Customers using more than 15 tonnes of solvent (VOC) in any 12 month period should have been complying since 1999, customers using between 5 and 15 tonnes have until 31st October 2007 to fully comply and those under 5 tonnes of solvent are exempt. Please refer to PG6/33 (04) for further guidance.

MHSWR – Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations

This regulation has been in place since 1992 and follows on from the requirements of The Health and Safety at Work Act. This legislation places a specific requirement on the employers to undertake risk assessments and to control those risks.

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