Chemicals contact person

Establishments that deal professionally or commercially with dangerous chemicals must nominate a contact person. In certain cases this must be communicated to the cantonal enforcement authorities.

Chemicals contact person for the majority of companies and educational establishments

When a company or educational establishment deals with dangerous chemicals (use, storage, disposal etc.), a contact person must be nominated. A great many companies and educational establishments deal with dangerous chemicals, which is why it is obligatory to nominate internally the contact person. However, it is not necessary to notify the cantonal enforcement authority (see below). Substances, such as methylated spirits, numerous cleaning agents, sprays, glue or paints, which are perceived as being relatively harmless, also fall under the definition of “dangerous chemicals”.

What are dangerous chemicals? Substances and preparations are dangerous if they fulfil the criteria for classification of physical, health, environmental or other hazards specified in the technical provisions referred to in Annex 2 number 1 (Art. 3 ChemO).

Role, requirements and duties of the contact person

  • They are the link between the establishment and the cantonal enforcement authority
  • They must have an overview of the chemical legal obligations of the establishment.
  • They must know who e.g. fulfils the following obligations or has specific knowledge:
    • Who is responsible for sales, labelling, safety data sheet?
    • Who is responsible for the storage and disposal of chemicals?
    • Who notifies the authorities of dangerous chemicals?
    • Who, if need be, has a special licence or specialist knowledge?
  • They must forward directives from the enforcement authorities to the responsible offices.

Unsolicited notification of the contact person

Establishments that as a manufacturer (Art. 2 let. b ChemO) sell dangerous chemicals and have to issue safety data sheets or require special licences or specialist knowledge, must communicate the name of the contact person to the enforcement authority in their canton without being so requested. All other companies and educational establishments must supply the name of their chemicals contact person when asked. Further information on how and what must be communicated may be found in the responsible offices of the cantonal enforcement authority. Many enforcement offices have a notification form.

Contact person lacking prescribed training

[...] Legally, the contact person does not need any specific proof of knowledge.  It is the responsibility of the establishment to ensure that contact persons are appropriately trained to perform their duties.

Last modification 17.01.2017

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