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1. Elaborated by

Safe and Healthy Work Department of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment of Netherlands

2. Description

The Stoffenmanager is a tool for prioritizing worker health risks to dangerous substances. The Stoffenmanager was developed as a tool allowing SME’s to prioritize health risks to dangerous substances and to determine effective control measures. The tool combines hazard information of a substance or product with an inhalation and/or dermal worker exposure assessment to calculate a risk score. When risks are presumed, effects of control measures can be examined. An action plan shows an overview of the risk assessments with control measures. Stoffenmanager can also be used as a quantitative inhalation exposure tool and as a REACH Tier one quantitative inhalation exposure tool.

The Stoffenmanager classifies the hazards of a product on basis of the R-phrases of a product according to the COSHH Essentials scheme.

Stoffenmanager calculates the exposure and the hazard classes and visualizes the health risks in green, orange or red. The intrinsic hazard level of different products can be compared afterwards.

3. Reliability

The main sources of information for this method are Material Safety Data Sheets. Several studies conducted in Europe (read more) have shown important shortcomings of these sheets, especially regarding classification. It is recommendable to double-check R phrases assigned to products and chemicals using additional sources as the European Chemical Substances Information System (ESIS) database. The implementation of the new European Regulation on Chemicals (REACH) must expedite the classification of more substances in the next years.

4. Applicability

Applicability is restricted to single cases of substitution of one product by another. It is not possible to compare products with alternative processes or technologies. The most important advantage of this method is that is very easy to handle by non-professional users and facilitates a quick assessment on possible substitutes and alternatives. It is applicable only to chemical hazards and risks.

5. User friendliness

The method is easy to use by non-professional users and does not require specific training if SDS are available. This method is mostly aimed at SME’s and non-specialized users.

6. Limitations

Since the method is based on R phrases, it covers 7000 chemicals classified with such phrases, included in Regulation (EC) 1272/2008 CLP. However, once the CLP inventory is published at the ECHA website, the classification of all substances placed on the EU market will be available independent of their registration status. Estimates can also be drawn using the description of hazards associated with R phrases if there is an additional source of information on the assessed risks. For these estimations a higher level of expertise would be recommended.

The most important advantage of this method is that is very easy to handle by non-professional users and facilitates a quick assessment on possible substitutes and alternatives.

It does not take into account eco-toxicological properties, but only deals with risks to health.

The method is not suitable for policy decisions or use by chemical formulators or article manufacturers as it takes into account the exposure conditions of workplaces.

7. Availability

Users can login to the online tool (in Dutch and English) free of charge at stoffenmanager website.

8. Links

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Restricted and priority substances database» link
Case story database » link