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EMKG Workplace & Chemicals

1. Elaborated by

Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA)

2. Description

The Easy-to-use Workplace Control Scheme for Hazardous Substances (EMKG) makes it easier to get started with the risk assessment. The EMKG modules Skin, Inhalation, and Fire and Explosion lead systematically to suitable protective measures in small steps. This requires information from safety data sheets, information about the workplace and the specific activities.
The EMKG uses the classification for all three modules, while for the Inhalation module a limit value can be used alternatively. In addition to the classification, further entry parameters are required to assess the risk at the workplace. For example, in the Inhalation module the EMKG estimates the level of exposure of employees via the release behavior and the amount of hazardous substance used. The Fire and Explosion module uses the same parameters and estimates how likely a fire or an explosion is. The Skin module determines how heavily the skin is contaminated. To do this, it uses the effective area of the wetted skin area and the duration of the skin contact, i.e. the time until the hazardous substance is removed.
A control strategy level is derived for each module using the input parameters described. The higher the control strategy level, the higher the risk when handling the hazardous substance. Risks become visible and assessable on the basis of the control strategy levels.

Picture of the EMKG discs © eckedesign, Berlin / malija/

The EMKG offers control guidance sheets in the form of two-page checklists for each control strategy level, which help to implement the measures. Control strategy level 1 contains minimum standards for the workplace. These organizational and hygiene measures must always be implemented. Control Strategy level 2 describes emission-reducing measures for typical work processes that minimize the release of hazardous substances, such as filling and decanting. Control strategy level 3 contains suggestions for the design of closed systems. Particularly high risks require expert advice.

3. Reliability

The legal requirements for the risk assessment for hazardous substances in Germany are described in Article 6 of the Hazardous Substances Ordinance (GefStoffV) and specified in TRGS 400 "Risk assessment for activities involving hazardous substances". TRGS 400 recommends sources of information and tools for risk assessment. The EMKG is recommended as a suitable aide in TRGS 400. The EMKG guidelines are the basis for the correct application of the EMKG.

4. Applicability

The EMKG enables a simple comparison of the control strategy levels that are required for the same activity with different hazardous substances. Depending on the occupational exposure limit and classification, there are different hazard groups. The release group can also be easily compared, e.g. with a fine, dusty solid this group is "high", with a granulate without abrasion, however, it is "low". In this way, it can be seen directly whether the substitution of a substance leads to lower technical and organizational measures.

5. User friendliness

The EMKG is aimed at people who work in occupational safety, especially those responsible in small and medium-sized companies. The assessment is independent of the level of knowledge and training of the assessing person.

6. Limitations

With the EMKG, no measures can be derived for activities in which hazardous substances are generated or released from articles. Examples of these are soldering and welding fumes or the release of unintentionally used hazardous substances during recycling activities. Measures for the industrial and commercial handling of gases and substance-related environmental hazards cannot be derived either.

7. Availability

EMKG- Guidelines "EMKG 2.2" and "EMKG Fire and Explosion Module"Manuals for the Skin, Inhalation, and Fire and Explosion modules
Serverversion and Stand-Alone-Version
For the systematic implementation and documentation of the EMKG modules Inhalation, Skin, and Fire and Explosion
EMKG Wheels und EMKG AppPractical and mobile - for the rapid assessment of the risk
Training Materials and PosterAttractive presentations to enable better understanding

8. Link

TRGS 600 "Substitution"

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