Switzerland ratifies the Convention on Chemicals and the Convention for the Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents

On March 7, 2022, the Swiss government deposited with the Director-General of the ILO the instrument of ratification of the Convention on Chemicals, 1990 (No. 170) and the Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents, 1993.

When depositing the instruments of ratification, Mr Boris Zürcher, Head of the Labor Directorate at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), stated: “The ratification of these two conventions is an important step towards strengthening health and safety at the It is part of the Labor Inspectorate’s priority action for the years 2022 and 2023, which aims to increase the level of protection in companies when using chemical products.The ratification also marks Switzerland’s desire to renew its commitment to the ILO, to respecting safe and healthy working conditions.”

An employee representative and an employer representative also spoke at the ceremony.

On receiving the instruments of ratification, the Director-General of the ILO, Mr. Guy Ryder, congratulated Switzerland on the ratifications and stated: “I am very pleased with the deposit of the instrument of ratification of the Conventions No. 170 and No. 174 by Switzerland, bringing the total number of OSH conventions that Switzerland has ratified to 10. By ratifying these two conventions, Switzerland reaffirms its strong commitment to the need to protect workers, the public and the environment from the potential adverse effects of hazardous chemicals and to prevent major industrial accidents involving hazardous chemicals.”

He pointed out that: “Every year, millions of workers around the world lose their lives or suffer from chronic illnesses due to chemicals and other hazardous substances in the workplace. Occupational safety and health remains at the heart of the workplace.” ILO since its establishment The relevant technical conventions contribute to the protection of workers from exposure to hazardous chemicals and to the creation of a solid, preventive and protective foundation.”

Chemical Convention, 1990 (No. 170)

“The use of chemicals at work can have significant adverse effects on human health and the environment. The Chemicals Convention (No. 170) and its Recommendation were adopted in 1990 and call on Member States to the ILO to a coherent policy on safety in the use of chemicals at work.Instead of banning the use of certain substances, these instruments give priority to prevention.The convention is based on policy and recognizes the role of employers and employees in the management of safety and health issues at work. Switzerland will become the 23rd Member State to ratify this convention.”

Convention for the Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents, 1993 (No. 174)

“The Convention for the Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents, 1993 (No. 174) and its Recommendation were adopted in 1993 and relate to the prevention of major accidents involving hazardous chemicals and the mitigation of the consequences of such accidents. treaty invites member states to implement, and periodically review a coherent national policy for the protection of workers, the general public and the environment against major-accident risks implements preventive and protective measures for installations at risk of major-accidents and must, for promote, as far as practicable, the use of the best available safety techniques Switzerland will be the 19th Member State to have ratified this Agreement”.

At the end of the ceremony, the Director General of the ILO thanked the Swiss government in the person of Mr Boris Zürcher, Head of the Labor Directorate, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), as well as the country’s employees and employers’ organizations for their “continued commitment to strengthening occupational safety and health, as set out in ILO instruments.”

Convention No. 170 and Convention No. 174 will enter into force for Switzerland on 7 March 2023. With these new ratifications, Switzerland has now ratified 62 conventions and 1 protocol. See NORMLEX for more information.

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