Product stewardship

Product stewardship

We monitor product safety along the entire product value chain, based on global standards which relate not only to the manufacture of products and their transportation but also to the use of those products. We conduct a systematic review of potential risks which might arise from our established products, products which are used in new applications or products which have been recently launched onto the market. Crucial factors to consider when we conduct risk assessments are the quantities of products sold and the properties of products, such as toxicity. We hold around 25,000 safety data sheets for our products in a variety of languages. We have also brought together all existing provisions relating to the handling of products in a global guideline on product stewardship.

Depending on the risk potential, we also assess whether conditions are in place for the proper handling of gases on customer sites. In addition, we offer services such as inspection, maintenance and repairs relating to the supply of gases on site to our customers. An in-house training programme was used in 2016 to deliver training on the safe handling of gases to more than 5,800 participants in seven European countries alone. Our customers also take part in our training programme.

International standards

We continuously check that we are complying with legal regulations in the Group. In the reporting year, we prepared for the third registration phase of REACH, the EU Regulation on chemicals, in 2018. Only a small number of the substances we produce are required to be registered under REACH. We provide clear information on an Internet platform about how we comply with the provisions of REACH and which substances are registered. To ensure the successful implementation of the provisions, we engage with customers and suppliers and cooperate with the European Industrial Gases Association.

As the manufacturer of medical devices, we implement the requirements of the European RoHS Directive (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) in our Healthcare business around the world. When operating production plants for medical gases, we comply worldwide with the Good Manufacturing Practice for pharmaceutical products.

Through our product stewardship programme, we also support the Global Product Strategy (GPS) devised by the International Council of Chemical Associations for the safe handling of chemical substances and the United Nations’ Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals.