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Chemical Agents and Carcinogens Code of Practice 2021


The Chemical Agents and Carcinogens Code of Practice 2021 (CAC CoP) in the Republic of Ireland is a vital document issued by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA). It provides guidance to employers on how to comply with the Chemicals Acts 2008 and 2010 and the Safety, Health, and Welfare at Work (Chemical Agents) Regulations 2001 regarding the safe use of chemical agents and carcinogens in the workplace. The CAC CoP aims to protect workers from the harmful effects of exposure to these substances and reduce the risk of occupational diseases, including cancer.

The CAC CoP outlines several key requirements and provisions that employers must adhere to:

  • Risk Assessment: Employers must conduct a comprehensive risk assessment to identify and assess the risks posed by chemical agents and carcinogens in the workplace. This includes evaluating the nature of the substances, the level of exposure, and the potential health effects on workers.
  • Control Measures: Employers must implement appropriate control measures to minimise the risks identified during the risk assessment. This may include substitution of hazardous substances with less harmful alternatives, engineering controls such as ventilation systems, and personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Monitoring and Health Surveillance: Employers should monitor the exposure of workers to chemical agents and carcinogens and provide health surveillance where necessary. This helps to detect any adverse health effects early and take appropriate action to protect workers.
  • Training and Information: Employers must provide adequate training and information to workers on the hazards posed by chemical agents and carcinogens, as well as the control measures in place to protect them. This includes training on the safe handling, storage, and disposal of these substances.
  • Emergency Planning: Employers should have appropriate emergency plans in place to respond to spills, leaks, or other incidents involving chemical agents and carcinogens. This includes procedures for evacuating workers safely and minimising environmental damage.

The CAC CoP came into operation on the 18th of May 2021 and applies to the Republic of Ireland.

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Does the CAC CoP affect my business?

The CAC CoP has several impacts on businesses, including:

  • Compliance Costs: Businesses may incur costs associated with implementing control measures, conducting risk assessments, and providing training and information to workers.
  • Productivity: While ensuring compliance with the CAC CoP may require additional resources, it can also lead to a healthier and more productive workforce, reducing absenteeism and improving morale.
  • Reputation: Compliance with the CAC CoP can enhance a company’s reputation as a responsible employer, which can be beneficial for attracting and retaining talent and securing contracts with clients who prioritise health and safety.
  • Legal Compliance: Failure to comply with the CAC CoP can result in legal consequences, including fines and enforcement action by the HSA.

By following the guidance outlined in the CAC CoP, businesses can protect their workers from harm, comply with legal requirements, and create a safer working environment.

Do I need the CAC CoP in my ISO Compliance Register?

The CAC CoP applies to a wide range of businesses where workers may be exposed to chemical agents and carcinogens. This includes industries such as manufacturing, construction, healthcare, laboratories, and agriculture, among others. Any business that uses, handles, stores, or transports hazardous substances should comply with the requirements of the CAC CoP to protect the health and safety of their workers.

If this includes your business then we highly recommend adding this code of practice to your ISO Compliance Register.

Legislation related to the CAC CoP

Legislation related to the CAC CoP include:

  • Chemicals Acts 2008
  • Safety, Health and Welfare At Work (Chemical Agents) Regulations 2001
  • The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)

More information

Visit CAC CoP on the website.

Create an account in the ISO Compliance Register App and add this article to your Register.