Enforcement Corner…

As EHS regulatory activity continues to grow, enforcement continues around the world. Below are just a few of example of recent EHS enforcement actions.

In Singapore, a company supplying and installing aluminum doors, windows and glazing and its Director were fined SG$200,000 and SG$100,000 respectively for failing to implement safety and health measures, contributing to the death of a worker. The accident happened in July 2008 when workers were tasked to unload eight crates of glass panels from a container. This is the highest penalty ever meted out in Singapore under the Workplace Safety and Health Act up to this date.

In The Netherlands the Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment – Inspectorate (Volkshuisvesting, Ruimtelijke Ordening en Milieubeheer (VROM)-Inspectie) has imposed on a Chinese company a fine of EUR1,000,000 a week with a maximum of EUR4,500,000 for not complying with the Regulation EC/1907/2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). The fine is so high due to the potential financial benefits the Chinese company could obtain through non-compliance with REACH. As a representative for 1,000 Chinese companies, the offending company has made more than 10,000 pre-registrations for substances to be imported into the European Union to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). The Chinese company was fined, because the administration of the Chinese company showed some defects. The defects made it impossible to establish the registration deadlines of the substances and also made it unclear which information was needed for the safety data sheets.

Earlier, in May 2010, the ECHA reported its REACH inspection activities. The ECHA found a high degree of non-compliance with Safety Data Sheet requirements. For the 5,137 substances and preparations checked, in 1,446 cases the required SDSs were not available. 313 companies, out of 1,204, were found to not be complying with their regulatory requirements.

 Contributors: Dawina Isack, Marlies Huijbers, Thierry Dumortier.

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