by Sara Fam
The Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare has issued 2016 Cabinet Order No. 50 to amend the Industrial Safety and Health Law (ISHL), and 2016 Health, Labor, and Welfare Order No. 24 to amend the Occupational Safety and Health Regulations. The changes include the addition of 27 new substances to appended table nine. The table includes the weight percent of allowable concentrations for the chemical substances to comply with labelling and notification requirements. The allowable concentrations for the 27 chemical substances were created as recommendations by the Japan Society for Occupational Health and the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH).
The addition of these new substances will require industries to follow certain requirements concerning labelling, Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), and risk assessments at the time of manufacturing and handling. These requirements are intended to make chemical substance management easier in the workplace.
The amendments were established, because certain hazards became apparent from all 27 chemical substances. As a result, the amendments were based on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).
The Ordinance was promulgated on February 24, 2016, but will come into effect on March 1, 2017. Industries that have these substances on the market before the effective date will have a grace period until August 31, 2017 to follow the new requirements.