REACH is the acronym for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. Set up by the EU in 2006, REACH regulation impacts into every area of electrical and mechanical manufacturing and component engineering.
The REACH directive is considered the most complex and important ruling ever to be passed by the EU, though the average engineering company finds it a bit of a pain. However, it was an essential ruling, designed to protect both the environment and public health at a time when unscrupulous companies were wantonly endangering both. Environmental compliance management is totally necessary to the workplace.
The REACH directive covers the production, use and disposal of hazardous chemicals, and covers 840 pages in total. Companies face heavy penalties for not complying with REACH EU legislation, which has the most stringent laws ever passed in the world regarding hazardous chemical substances.
Say “hazardous chemicals” to people, and they instantly think of toxic waste and chemical plants. But while this is an important area, the majority of substances covered by the REACH directive are far more insidious in their effects – like, for example, brominated flame retardants.
Just because a product isn’t directly ingested, doesn’t mean it can’t be harmful. Batteries in landfill sites, for example, are a huge hazard to the environment and human health, discharging toxic chemicals into the soil where they become integrated into the water supply and food chain. Many engineering consumables react in the same way. REACH regulations may be a chore, but they’re essential. If you are struggling to become REACH directive compliant, remember – we at Enterprise Technologies offer a full range of environmental compliance services.