ALEXANDRIA Va., June 2, 2021 -- The Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) today announced a new policy and approach to protect workers from exposure to hazardous process chemicals during manufacturing, which includes the establishment of an Industry Focus Process Chemicals List (IFPCL).
Process chemicals include those used during the manufacturing of a product or maintenance of related equipment. Examples of process chemicals include cleaning agents, solvents, lubricants, refrigerants, hydraulic fluids, adhesives, inks and coatings.
Reducing worker exposure to process chemicals of concern in manufacturing has long been a priority for the RBA and its members. The new RBA policy outlines greater industry scrutiny and the need for the most protective levels of control possible for a list of the most hazardous chemicals and will be supported by additional guidance on management systems and safer alternatives. The policy is applicable to any facility that is subject to RBA Code of Conduct requirements.
“The RBA and its members seek to develop a focused, harmonized approach to reduce worker exposure, achieving the highest level of protection in the Hierarchy of Controls for workers as well as greater efficiency,” said Rob Lederer, CEO of the Responsible Business Alliance.
Process chemicals that contain ingredients from the RBA list should be prioritized for more advanced, permanent and protective levels of control as defined by the Hierarchy of Controls when in use during the manufacturing process. The implementation of the list will focus on isolating or eliminating hazards to workers related to these chemicals. The current list can be found here on the Chemical Management page of the RBA website.
This policy is effective January 1, 2022 and will be operationalized through the RBA’s Validated Assessment Program (VAP) and/or Supplemental Validated Audit Process (SVAP) on Chemical Management. Use of products or formulations containing the listed chemicals during the manufacturing process will yield escalating levels of findings during VAP or SVAP audits, considering use of exemptions, engineering controls in place, the potential level of exposure for workers, and other criteria approved by the RBA Board of Directors.
About the Responsible Business Alliance
The Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) is a nonprofit coalition of leading companies dedicated to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in their global supply chains. The RBA has a Code of Conduct and a range of programs, training and assessment tools to support continual improvement. The organization has a global footprint, with offices in North America, Europe and Asia. The RBA and its Responsible Minerals, Labor and Factory Initiatives have more than 400 members with combined annual revenues of greater than $7.7 trillion, directly employing over 21.5 million people, with products manufactured in more than 120 countries. For more information, visit ResponsibleBusiness.org and follow @RBAllianceOrg.
Jarrett Bens, Senior Director of Communications
Responsible Business Alliance
Phone: +1 571.858.5721