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Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals and International Labour Organisation sign MoU for safe use of chemicals 

Jul 27, 2022

The MoU with ILO will ensure the safety of personnel in the chemicals and petrochemicals industry - Dr Mansukh Mandaviya.

New Delhi. 27 July 2022. Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals (DCPC) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) have signed an MoU to adopt the International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSCs) for information dissemination to the chemical industry.

The MoU was signed today in the presence of the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Chemical and Fertilisers, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, and Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers, New & Renewable Energy, Shri Bhagwanth Khuba, at a seminar on "Safe use of Chemicals" organised by the DCPC along with ILO and FICCI.

Speaking on occasion, Minister Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, said, "human safety and humanity are paramount for the nation." In this regard, "India readily accepts any best practice that ensures safety and security of life, humanity, environment and the industry," he added. "The MoU with ILO will ensure the safety of personnel in the chemicals and petrochemicals industry," the minister said while adding that "the industry will follow these practices, and the government will monitor the implementation."

Shri Bhagwanth Khuba, Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers, New & Renewable Energy, said MoU would seek to ensure that the workers and the chemicals sector grow together without harm and hazard.

Ms Arti Ahuja, Secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Government of India, averred it is essential to manage potential hazards. "Anchoring a culture of safety is important," she said. In this regard, we must adopt a "standardised format which is internationally acceptable."

Secretary Ms Ahuja added that the chemical safety cards developed by ILO and WHO are globally recognised. "Our expectation from the industry is," the secretary said, "to prominently disseminate the information to workers." DCPC will also organise training of trainers in association with ILO to build a talent pool on safety standards.

Mr Kelvin A Sergeant, who spoke on behalf of ILO Director, Ms Dagmar Walter, said, "ILO constituents, government employers, and workers of 187 member states recognised the importance of occupational safety and health at the International Labor conference last month. He added that occupational safety and health became part of fundamental principles and rights at work." He said: "nearly 1 billion workers worldwide, particularly in developing countries, economies in transition and the informal economy, are disproportionately exposed to hazardous substances, including pollutants, dust, vapours and fumes. An estimated 1 million workers die each year due to exposure to hazardous chemicals."

Mr Prabh Das, Chair, FICCI Petrochemical Committee & MD & CEO, HPCL- Mittal Energy, said the industry stands with the government on safety and is doing everything best possible to make sure that the industry is run safely and all the persons who come to work, go back home safe and healthy. "As far as safety is concerned, we feel that it is not a cost to the company," he said, adding, "that is how we do it."

Mr Susanta Kumar Purohit, Joint Secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Government of India, delivered the welcome address. He said: "The MoU will help in adopting the international safety cards and help in answering the safe use of chemicals at the workplace, and ensure safety for workers and people in the chemical industry."

About the MoU on adoption of the International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSCs)

The International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSCs) are data sheets intended to concisely provide essential safety and health information on chemicals. The primary aim of the Cards is to promote the safe use of chemicals in the workplace. Therefore, the primary target users are workers and those responsible for occupational safety and health.

The department will use the International Chemical Safety Cards (ICSCs) to disseminate the appropriate hazard information on chemicals at the workplace in an understandable and precise way. To date, 1784 Chemicals Safety Cards are available. 

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