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National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998)

Environmental Management Plan : Department of Labour

Chapter 4 : Environmental Management Policies

4.9. Agenda 21



DOL is responsible for chapter 29 of Agenda 21: Strengthening the role of workers and their trade unions. In addition, DOL is required to provide input into chapter 6: Protecting and promoting human health and chapter 19:


Management of toxic chemicals as it relates to the labour market. DOH and DEAT are responsible for these two chapters respectively. Chapter 19 is the one relating to this EMP. The programme areas and objectives in this chapter are identified as:

Assessment of chemical risks;
Classification and labelling of chemicals;
Information exchange on toxic chemicals and chemical risks; and
Establishment of risk reduction programmes.


As discussed in section 4.6, DOL, as part of its OHS mandate, administers the Hazardous Chemical Substances Regulations which regulate health and safety in the manufacture and use of chemicals in the work place. The SADCELS Technical subcommittee developed a code of safe handing of chemicals which was adopted by the SADC. Tripartite discussions are now required with regard to implementation of the code. DOL participated in the initial discussions on the Inter Organisational management of Chemicals with regard to the global harmonisation of classification and labelling of chemicals. A coordinating group has still to be established for the co-operation of regional and national authorities with international bodies to:

evaluate and undertake studies of existing hazard classification and information systems to establish general principles for a globally harmonised system;
develop and implement a workplan for the establishment of a globally harmonised hazard classification system;
develop a globally harmonised hazard classification system;
develop proposals for standardisation of hazard communication terminology and symbols in order to enhance risk management of chemicals and facilitate both international trade and translation of information into the end-users' language; and
develop a harmonised labelling system.