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Denehurst Chemical Safety Ltd

Risk Assessment Training

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The Risk Assessment end-point of chemical supply legislation, taking into account hazard data, manufacturing techniques, use patterns, handling and finally disposal.  The Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is effectively a crude Risk Assessment in that the author must take into account all relevant factors and conclude with recommendations for use, handling an disposal that minimise risk.  


For the supply of new and existing substances under Directive 67/548/EEC (as amended) and under proposals for REACH, a formal risk assessment is a key part of the regulatory process. 


Training work undertaken by Denehurst takes a single approach to Risk Assessment whether for regulatory work or for SDS preparation; that it is necessary:


·        to understand the relevance and relationship between types of hazard

·        to consider exposure scenarios during the life cycle of the substance

·        to understand the principles of risk reduction


During training programme, this basic level of risk assessment can either take the form of an hour or so pre-amble to set the scene for SDS writing or for consumer safety, or it can be extended to cover detail expected for those preparing Risk Assessments for regulatory submission.  Either way, the approach is to stress the importance of looking at the ‘big picture’ of all data and exposure sources.


In addition to the theoretical concepts of Risk Assessment, the use of models such as EUSES and EASE need to be considered.  These should not be used without an understanding of the theories of risk assessment as they can give misleading conclusions in the hands of the un-skilled risk Assessor.  If used correctly, EUSES can prove to be a powerful tool in not only identifying areas of highest risk, but also in modelling where effort can be focussed to reduced exposure in key areas to made a big difference in the final assessment.


A full-day programme for Risk Assessment training has been developed that can be adapted to suit to those with existing skills or those starting at a basic level.  An example of such a programme is given below:

Outline Training Course - Risk Assessment for Chemical Supply


Welcome, introductions (10 mins)

What do we want out of this course?


Establishment of knowledge base (30 mins)

Recap of basic principles:

Legislative framework

Environmental and health effects

Considering risk (and not hazard)

Atmospheric, aquatic and terrestrial compartments

Workplace and general public exposure


Risk assessment – basics  (30 mins)

Basic risk assessment and understanding risk

Background to EU methods / Technical Guidance Document


Gathering data for risk assessment (expected use patterns etc)

How to prepare a simple risk assessment (default parameters)


Exposure assessments (30 mins)

Factors to consider

Environmental exposure

Work exposure

Exposure to general public


Interpretation of data – environmental and health effects (40 mins)

Quality of supplier safety data sheets

What to look for in test reports

Looking for anomalies in data

Difficult materials and non-standard tests

Identification of concern from minimal data

Computer models, read across and educated guessing (SAR)


EUSES introduction (2 hours)

Practical demonstration

Exercises using increasing levels of sophistication in changing parameters


‘Advanced’ testing; further testing options  (30 mins)

Why do more testing?

Environmental fate and the effects on treatment plants

Persistence and bioconcentration

Long-term health effects

Secondary and tertiary exposure
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