Executive Order on Work with Substances and Materials (chemical agents)*)

Executive Order No. 292 of 26 April 2001 as subsequently amended, issued by the the Danish Working Environment Authority - unofficial version

THE COMPILATION OF EXECUTIVE ORDERS comprises the following:
  • No. 292 of 26 April 2001, which entered into force on 5 Mai 2001, and
  • No. 496 of 27 Mai 2004, which entered into force on 17 January 2005  
  • No. 20 of 12 January 2009, which entered into force on 22 January 2009 (amendments of a concequence of the REACH Regulation)
  • No. 1125 of 28 November 2011, which entered into force on 1 January 2012
The following shall be laid down pursuant to section 17(3), section 22(1), section 39, section 41(1), section 49, section 49c(1), section 63(2) and section 84 of the Working Environment Act and upon authorisation according to section 73 of this Act, cf. Consolidating Act no. 268 of 18 March 2005, and pursuant to section 32a of the Danish Public Administration Act, cf. Act no. 571 of 19 December 1985 as amended by Act no. 215 of 22 April 2002:

Part 1 - Scope and definitions

1.-(1) This Executive Order shall apply to any work with substances and materials, including their manufacture, use and handling.

(2) This Executive Order shall also apply to other work that, owing to its nature or the conditions under which it takes place, may involve a risk to safety and health.

(3) The following provisions shall also apply to work covered by section 2(2) of the Working Environment Act which is not performed for an employer: section 5, section 11, section 13, Annex I, points 1.2 and 2.2, Annex II, Annex III, points 3.1, 3.3, 4, 6, 7.1, 8.1, 8.4.2 and 8.5 and Annex IV, except for points 2.2.1, 4, 5 and 8.

2.-(1) The application of the provisions of this Executive Order shall be based on the following definitions:

  • Substances: elements and their compounds.
  • Materials: compositions of two or more substances, including biological materials. 

(2) In this Executive Order, substances and materials that may constitute a risk to or may otherwise have an adverse effect on safety or health (dangerous substances and materials), cf. Parts 3-7 below, shall mean:

    1. substances and materials that meet the criteria for classification as dangerous according to the rules laid down by the Ministry of Environment and Energy on classification,
    2. 2)substances and materials included in the list of limit values for air pollution with substances and materials prepared by the Danish Working Environment Authority,
    3. materials that contain 1% or more (for gaseous materials 0.2%) of a substance included with a limit value in the list of limit values for air pollution with substances and materials prepared by the Danish Working Environment Authority. 
    4. materials that contain 1% or more, for gaseous materials 0.2%, of a substance that has been classified as dangerous to health or dangerous to the environment according to the Ministry of Environment and Energy's rules on classification,
    5. substances and materials that owing to their physico-chemical, chemical or toxicological properties and the way in which they are used or occur at work, may involve a risk of exposure to substances and materials. 

(3) Limit value of substances and materials means, unless otherwise specified, the limit of the time-weighted average of the concentration of a substance or material in the air within the breathing zone at work assessed in relation to a specified reference period.

(4) Biological limit value means the limit of the concentration in the appropriate biological medium of the relevant substance or material, its metabolite, or an indicator of effect.

3. For certain substances and materials special requirements have been laid down in the following annexes:

    1. Annex I on Metallic Lead and its Ionic Compounds,
    2. Annex II on Chromate in Cement,
    3. Annex III on Epoxy Resins and Isocyanates, and
    4. Annex IV on Asphalt Materials.

Part 2 - General provisions

4. This Executive Order contains rules supplementing the Executive Order on the Performance of Work and the Executive Order on the Safety and Health Activities of Enterprises. 

5.-(1) Work with substances and materials shall be planned and organised at all stages in such a way as to ensure safety and health, cf. section 4 of the Executive Order on the Performance of Work.

(2) Unnecessary exposure to substances and materials shall be avoided, cf. section 16 of the Executive Order on the Performance of Work.

(3) Work with the substances and materials mentioned in Annexes I-IV shall be in accordance with the special requirements of the Annexes.

Part 3 - Special provisions

6.-(1) Where there are dangerous substances and materials at work, also the following elements of assessment shall be included in the workplace assessment in pursuance of the Executive Order on the Performance of Work, cf. also section 8:

    1. dangerous properties of the substances and materials,
    2. level, type and duration of exposure,
    3. the circumstances of work involving dangerous substances and materials, including their amount,
    4. the effect of preventive measures taken or to be taken,
    5. where available, the conclusions to be drawn from any examinations in accordance with the principles of occupational medicine conducted,
    6. limit values fixed by the Danish Working Environment Service, and
    7. information on safety and health from suppliers.

(2) The employer shall obtain the additional information necessary for the workplace assessment from the supplier or from other easily accessible sources.

(3) The assessment shall also include a list of the dangerous substances and materials used at the workplace with reference to the relevant instructions for use from suppliers.

(4) Repairs, maintenance, etc. at the enterprise that may be envisaged to give rise to significant exposure to substances and materials or which may adversely affect safety and health for other reasons even though technical measures have been taken, shall be included in the workplace assessment.

(5) Where the work involves a risk of exposure to several dangerous substances or materials, an overall assessment of the risk shall be made.

7.-(1) To the extent that the result of the above-mentioned assessment in pursuance of section 6 shows that the health and safety of the employees are at risk, the specific measures and arrangements mentioned in parts IV and V shall be taken or made.

(2) Provided that it shall not be necessary to take these specific measures or make these arrangements where the assessment shows that the quantity of dangerous substances and materials involves only a slight risk of exposure.

8. The provisions of section 6 shall not apply where the employer provides documentation that the nature and scope of the exposures to the dangerous substances and materials are insignificant and that measures are unnecessary.

9. In the workplace assessment, the result of the assessment, including the measures to be taken and arrangements to be made, may be described with reference to the instructions for use prepared in pursuance of section 21(1). 

Principles of prevention

10. To the extent indicated by the result of the above-mentioned assessment, cf. section 6, exposure to dangerous substances and materials must be eliminated or reduced as much as possible in connection with the performance of work, cf. sections 11-13 and section 15 (1):

    1. by the quantity of dangerous substances and materials being eliminated, replaced or reduced to the minimum necessary for the work,
    2. through the layout at the place of work,
    3. through the use of technical equipment,
    4. by reducing to a minimum the number of employees who are exposed to or risk exposure to dangerous substances and materials,
    5. through adequate working procedures, including safe handling, storage and transport of dangerous substances and materials at the workplace,
    6. through the use of adequate personal protective equipment.

Replacement substances and materials (the substitution principle)

11. The employer shall ensure that dangerous substances and materials at the workplace are eliminated, replaced or reduced to a minimum.

12.-(1) Measures in pursuance of section 11 shall be taken especially by replacing a dangerous substance or material with a substance or material or working process that is non-hazardous, less hazardous or causes less nuisance.

(2) In this connection it shall be ensured that the substances and materials are used in the form causing the least risk of exposure during work.

(3) Where a substance, material or working process cannot be replaced, documentation for this shall be provided on demand to the Danish Working Environment Service.

13.-(1) A substance, material or working process must be replaced even if the exposures to the dangerous substances and materials are insignificant.

(2) Where the use of a replacement substance or material will lead to not inconsiderable differences in technical properties or expenses, all technical and financial consequences shall be weighed up against all safety and health considerations.

(3) Where a substance, material or working process cannot be replaced pursuant to subsection (1) or if a substance, material or working process is not replaced because an overall weighing up of consequences and considerations pursuant to subsection (2) shows that the use of a replacement substance or material will lead to unreasonable additional costs to the employer, documentation for this shall be provided on demand to the Danish Working Environment Service. 

14. The safety organisation of the enterprise shall be involved in the assessment pursuant to section 7 (2), and in the assessment whether a substance, material or working process can be replaced pursuant to section 12 and section 13. 

Part 4 - Specific measures

15.-(1) Where the nature of the work is such that it is not possible to eliminate risk to the health and safety of employees pursuant to Part 3, the employer shall on the basis of the assessment of section 6 take the following measures in order of priority:

    1. organise working and production methods, implement engineering controls and use adequate work equipment and materials so as to avoid or minimise release of dangerous substances and materials,
    2. apply collective protection measures at the source of the risk, use effective ventilation and take appropriate organisational measures, and
    3. apply individual protection measures, including personal protective equipment.

(2) In connection with the specific measures, examinations in accordance with the principles of occupational medicine shall be conducted where relevant.

16.-(1) Unless the employer clearly demonstrates by other means that adequate protection has been achieved through the above-mentioned specific measures, the employer shall carry out measurements on a regular basis, and when any change occurs in the conditions which may involve a risk of employees being exposed to dangerous substances and materials, in particular when this is deemed necessary in order to observe the limit values.

(2) The employer shall take into account the results of the measurements mentioned in subsection (1) above in the preparation and updating of the workplace assessment.

17. Where the nature of the work is such that it is not possible to prevent the presence at the workplace of hazardous concentrations of inflammable substances and materials or hazardous quantities of chemically unstable substances or materials, the employer shall on the basis of the workplace assessment and the general principles of prevention take measures with a view to and in order of priority:

    1. avoiding the presence of ignition sources which could give rise to fires and explosions, or adverse conditions which could cause chemically unstable substances or materials to give rise to harmful physical effects, and
    2. mitigating the detrimental effects to the health and safety of employees in the event of fire or explosion due to the ignition of inflammable substances or materials, or harmful physical effects arising from chemically unstable substances or materials.

Part 5 - Arrangements to deal with accidents, etc.

18. Emergency, evacuation and drill plans shall be prepared pursuant to section 23 of the Executive Order on the Performance of Work. Safety drills according to these plans shall be performed at regular intervals.

19.-(1) Where the use of dangerous substances and materials at the workplace causes accidents, incidents or an imminent danger of an accident or incident the employer shall immediately take steps to mitigate the effects of the event and inform the employees concerned thereof.

(2) The employer shall ensure that only employees whose work makes it necessary have access to the areas affected and that they use personal protective equipment, cf. Executive Order on the Use of Personal Protective Equipment.

20. The employer shall ensure that information on emergency measures concerning dangerous substances and materials is available to the persons mentioned in section 23(2) of the Executive Order on the Performance of Work. The information shall contain details on:

    1. hazards observed in relation to the work involving dangerous substances and materials, measures for identification of hazards so that the necessary measures can be taken,
    2. all available information on special hazards that may arise in connection with accidents and incidents, as well as
    3. emergency, evacuation and drill plans prepared in pursuance of section 18 above.

Part 6 - Instructions for use

21.-(1) The employer shall prepare instructions for use of substances and materials in the workplace covered by section 2(2), nos. 1-4 and Annexes III and IV with the following information if technically possible:

  1. identification of the substance/material, including information about trade name and any product registration number (PR No.) awarded by the Danish Working Environment Authority. As regards substances and materials that must be labelled, the producer, supplier or importer stated on the label shall be stated,
  2. hazards identification,
  3. composition of/information about ingredients, including substances and materials that must be classified according to the rules of the Danish Ministry of the Environment, as well as information on ingredients in the form of organic solvents,
  4. first aid measures,
  5. fire-fighting measures, including information on how to deal with fire,
  6. accidental release measures, including information on how to deal with spills at the enterprise,
  7. handling and storage, including information on safety regulations in connection with storage at the enterprise,
  8. exposure controls/personal protective equipment, including information on how to deal with exposure to substances and materials, and on the use of personal protective equipment as well as any prohibitions on solitary work,
  9. physical and chemical properties,
  10. stability and reactivity, including information on properties in the event of heating and fire,
  11. toxicological information (properties harmful to health), including information on any symptoms upon ingestion or absorption into the organism,
  12. transport information,
  13. regulatory information, including information about e.g. restrictions on use, demands for special education/training, special age requirements, etc., and
  14. other information, including fields of application at the enterprise..

(2) Instructions for use shall be updated to the necessary extent.

(3) Instructions for use shall be accessible to employees.

(4) Employees working with the substance or material shall be instructed in the use of it and the instructions for use shall be handed out to them.

(5) The employer shall ensure that employees have access to safety data sheets from the supplier, as prepared in accordance with section 14 of Executive Order no. 559 of 4 July 2002 on Special Duties of Manufacturers, Suppliers and Importers etc. of Substances and Materials pursuant to the Danish Working Environment Act as subsequently amended.

(6) The employer shall collect a safety data sheet from the supplier in the cases mentioned covered by Article 31(3) and (4) of the REACH Regulation for use in the preparation of his instructions for use in the workplace. The employer shall ensure that employees have access to such safety data sheets from the supplier and shall obtain such safety data sheets from the supplier, if appropriate. Employees and their representatives shall ensure access to any information received from the supplier pursuant to Article 33(1) of the REACH Regulation. 

(7) In addition the safety organisation shall be notified of relevant limit values for the dangerous substances and materials. In enterprises where the establishment of a safety organisation is not required the employees shall be notified correspondingly.

Part 7 - Examinations in accordance with the principles of occupational medicine

22. Employers shall ensure that employees who are assessed to be exposed to dangerous substances and materials, cf. section 6, are given access to an examination in accordance with the principles of occupational medicine as prescribed by the Executive Order on Occupational-Medicine Examinations pursuant to the Danish Working Environment Act, where:

    1. the exposure is such that an identifiable disease or adverse health effect may be related to the exposure,
    2. there is a likelihood that the disease or effect may occur under the particular conditions of the employee’s work,
    3. the technique of investigation is of low risk to the employee, and
    4. there are valid techniques for detecting indications of the disease or effect.

23. The Danish Working Environment Service informs the enterprise whether the results of the examination in accordance with the principles of occupational medicine gives rise to new measures, including updating of the workplace assessment, current medical examinations of employees as well as measures in connection with the planning and organisation of the work.

Part 8 - Exemptions and appeals

24. In special circumstances, the Director General of the Danish Working Environment Service may grant exemptions from the provisions of this Executive Order, where this is deemed reasonable and fully acceptable, and to the extent it is compatible with Council Directive 98/24/EC of 7 April 1998 on the protection of the health and safety of workers from the risks related to chemical agents at work.

25. Any decisions made under this Executive Order by the Danish Working Environment Service may be appealed in accordance with section 81 of the Danish Working Environment Act.

Part 9 - Penalty provisions

26.-(1) Unless a more severe penalty is prescribed by the Danish Working Environment Act or any other legislation, anyone who:

  1. violates section 5(3), section 6, section 7(1), section 11, section 12(1) and (2), section 13(1) and sections 14-22,
  2. fails to comply with any improvement notice or enforcement notice issued in accordance with this Executive Order, or
  3. fails to comply with the conditions of permits issued pursuant to this Executive Order, shall be liable to a fine or imprisonment.

(2) Any employer violating section 5(3), section 6, section 7(1), section 11, section 12(1) and (2), section 13(1), and sections 14-22 may be liable to a fine even if said violation cannot be considered intentional or negligent. There shall be no alternative penalty in lieu of a fine.

(3) Criminal liability may be imposed on companies, etc. (legal persons) pursuant to the rules in Part 5 of the Danish Penal Code.

Part 10 - Entry into force and transitional provisions

27.-(1) This Executive Order shall enter into force on 5 May 2001.

(2) Until 30 July 2002 information pursuant to paragraph 12 of section 21 (1) shall be provided only to the extent that it is contained in the instructions for use from the supplier.

(3) The following executive orders shall be repealed on the same date provided that until 30 July 2002 they shall remain valid as laid down in subsection (4) below:

    1. Executive Order No. 540 of 2 September 1982 on Substances and Materials,
    2. Executive Order No. 562 of 16 December 1985 on Work with Metallic Lead and its Ionic Compounds,
    3. Executive Order No. 199 of 26 March 1985 on Epoxy Resins and Isocyanates, etc.,
    4. Executive Order No. 661 of 28 November 1983 on Water-soluble Chromate in Cement,
    5. Executive Order No. 52 of 13 January 1988 on Materials Containing Volatile Substances, including Organic Solvents,
    6. Executive Order No. 1062 of 15 December 1994 on Work with Asphalt Materials,

(4) Until 30 July 2002 the provisions of the following executive orders shall continue to be applicable:

    1. Executive Order No. 540 of 2 September 1982 on Substances and Materials, as amended by Executive Order No. 485 of 16 June 1995, Parts 3 and 4,
    2. Executive Order No. 199 of 26 March 1985 on Epoxy Resins and Isocyanates, etc., as amended by Executive Order No. 779 of 15 October 1999, Parts 2 and 3,
    3. Executive Order No. 661 of 28 November 1983 on Water-soluble Chromate in Cement, section 4,
    4. Executive Order No. 52 of 13 January 1988 on Materials Containing Volatile Substances, Including Organic Solvents, paragraphs 1 to 4 of section 2 (1) and section 2 (2) and (3).

The Danish Working Environment Service, 26 April 2001

Jens Jensen/Charlotte Skjoldager

*) This Executive Order contains provisions implementing Council Directive of 20 April 1998 (98/24/EC), Official Journal 1998 L 131, p. 11 and certain provisions in Council Directive No. 2003/53/EC of 18 June 2003 amending for the 26th time Council Directive 76/769/EEC relating to restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations (nonylphenol, nonylphenol ethoxylate and cement), Official Journal of the European Communities 2003 L 178, p. 24.