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GHS for the Classification and Labeling of Chemicals – Zambia’s Experience

GHS for the Classification and Labeling of Chemicals – Zambia’s Experience

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GHS for the Classification and Labeling of Chemicals – Zambia’s Experience

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  1. GHS for the Classification and Labeling of Chemicals – Zambia’s Experience Paper Presented at the Global Thematic Workshop for Strengthening Capacities in implementing the GHS, Johannesburg SA November 15 2005 HK Mwale – Senior Inspector ECZ

  2. Outline • Background • Zambia’s experience • Current activities • Problems and challenges • Conclusion

  3. Background • Zambia’s path towards establishing enhanced chemicals management dates back to the time of the establishment of the Environmental Council of Zambia • In 1996, Zambia embarked on study to establish a chemicals management profile • In 2001, a situational analysis vis-à-vis classification and labeling of chemicals • This report formed the basis for the Chemical Hazard communication project and subsequently the GHS

  4. Background • The need for a sound system that enhances chemical safety for Zambia can not be over emphasized. • This is especially so because Zambia imports most of its chemicals whether for agriculture, industrial or domestic use. The local chemical producing industry is nothing to talk about • This situation makes it very necessary for the country to advocate and ensure that chemical hazards are communicated in a manner that is comprehensive

  5. Zambia’s Experience • In addition, for Zambia implementation of the GHS would most certainly enhance chemical safety • Following the launch of the Chemical Hazard Communication/ GHS project in 2001, A number of activities were put in place. This included: • Setting up of a NPCC • Creation of Technical working groups covering, the industrial, agriculture, transport and the consumer sectors

  6. Zambia’s experience • As part of the project, a Comprehensibility Testing study was conducted which helped augment the findings of the situational analysis and also helped the country establish the levels of awareness in as far as CHC is concerned • The study revealed that the levels of awareness were rather low

  7. Zambia’s experience • It is important to note the following: • Initiatives to enhance Chemical hazard communication in the agricultural sector are in place for example some labels have been translated into local languages; • Illiteracy has a negative impact on signal word CHC; • The industrial sector has inadequate training and awareness programmes to curtail the problem of familiarity with label elements & SDSs

  8. Zambia’s experience • The transportation sector as at now has a good Chemical hazard communication system for petroleum products. • The Agro-sector shows positive adaptation to CHC. • Unfortunately for other dangerous goods, the systems is not yet up to standard

  9. Current activities/strategies • Development of a national standard on TDG. This standard has some aspects of the GHS. Supplements SADC protocols • Proposal to developed a National Standard based on the GHS. The proposal is being floated by the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) in consultation with ECZ; • Crop life Zambia formerly the Zambia Agrochemicals Association has been carrying activities aimed at improving chemical handling

  10. Problems/challenges • Absence of a defined legal systems that clearly supports the implementation of the GHS • Lack of resources for implementation • Low levels of awareness/knowledge • Lack of capacities and infrastructure to implement the GHS • Lack of consistency in labels as Imports come with different labels and SDSs

  11. Conclusion • The need for GHS can not over emphasized; • There is need to have a regional coherent system to ensure sound chemicals management. • Zambia is aggressive on GHS