By Weisin Chai
Malaysia’s Industry Code of Practice on Chemical and Hazard Communication (ICOP) 2014 [P.U. (B) 128/2014] was published on April 16, 2014 on the Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Ministry of Human Resources website. The ICOP is promulgated under Section 37 of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act 1994. It is published as a guide to comply with the Occupational Safety and Health (Classification, Labelling and Safety Data Sheet of Hazardous Chemicals) Regulations (CLASS) 2013 [P.U. (A) 310/2013]. In order to adopt the United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), the CLASS regulations replaced the Occupational Safety and Health (Classification, Packaging and Labelling of Hazardous Chemical) Regulations (CPL) 1997 [P.U. (A) 143/1997] on October 11, 2013. The ICOP is enacted by referring to the third revised edition of the GHS Purple Book. The industries have a one year grace period for the adoption of the CLASS regulation, beginning April 17, 2014.
The ICOP provides guidance to industries for chemical classification and hazard communication of workplace chemicals. The ICOP consists of four parts:
- Part 1: List of Classified Chemicals
- Part 2: Chemical Classification
- Part 3: Hazard Communication: Labelling and Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
- Part 4: Confidential Business Information (CBI)
A list of 229 substances was classified in accordance with GHS and is available in Part 1 of the ICOP. The list of classified substances will be updated occasionally through the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), Ministry of Human Resources. Manufacturers and/or importers may propose classifications, with justification, different from the published list of substances. The Director General should determine the most appropriate classifications and labelling elements for the substances.
Part 2 of the ICOP shows guidance or methods to classify substances. There are 16 physical hazard classes, 13 health hazard classes and 3 environmental hazard classes under ICOP. Similar to the European Union Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP Regulation), Malaysia’s ICOP does not incorporate hazard category 4 for flammable liquids. In addition to criteria for chemical classification, decision logics and hazard communication elements for each hazard class, the format for the classification record is provided in Part 2 of the ICOP. According to Part II, Regulation 5(1) of the CLASS, classification records shall be available upon inspection. The records include the identification of chemicals and their classification results with justification and source references.
Part 3 of the ICOP consists of information regarding hazard communication, i.e. labelling and safety data sheet (SDS) requirements. Considering various circumstances in preparing the label, ICOP provides guidance for precedence of information, the allocation of label elements and special labelling arrangements. For substances classified with multiple hazard classes and resulting in multiple hazard pictogram and/or hazard statements, the rules of precedence to allocate hazard pictogram and/or hazard statements can be found in Part 3, Section 3.2.2 in ICOP. The special labelling arrangements are applied to labels for containers or packages of 125 mL or lower.
Confidential Business Information (CBI) can be filed in accordance to Part 4 of the ICOP. Only chemical names, their identifiers and their concentrations in mixtures can be claimed confidential. A generic chemical name may be used for hazard ingredient(s) which is commercially confidential and a permissible exposure limit (PEL) has not been established under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The method of selecting generic chemical names can be found in Section 4.3 of the ICOP. For confidential purposes, the concentrations of ingredients in mixtures can be provided in percent ranges. The allowable concentration ranges are available in Section 4.2 of the ICOP. However, a narrower range may be used.
In addition to classification and labelling, manufacturers and/or importers who manufacture or import hazardous chemicals in a quantity of one metric tonne and above, per year, for each calendar year shall submit an inventory of hazardous chemicals to the Director General no later than March 31 each year starting from or before March 31, 2016 (for chemical inventory in 2015). The inventory shall contain information such as the product identifier, the hazardous chemical name, the composition and ingredients of a hazardous chemical with CAS registry numbers if applicable, the hazard classification and the total amount of each hazardous chemical imported or manufactured.
Readers may consult the listed websites for more details regarding ICOP, the CLASS regulations, the OSH Act, the repealed CPL regulations and the United Nations GHS.
Industry Code of Practice on Chemical and Hazard Communication (ICOP) 2014
Occupational Safety and Health (Classification, Labelling and Safety Data Sheet of Hazardous Chemicals) Regulations (CLASS) 2013
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH) 1994
Repealed Occupational Safety and Health (Classification, Packaging and Labelling of Hazardous Chemical) Regulations (CPL) 1997
United Nations Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)