Sound Management of Chemicals (SMC) in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Tool: GHS Column Model for Chemical Substitutes Assessment

A practical tool aimed to help companies with the identification of alternative safer chemicals:
- Compares the hazards of different substances and mixtures under specific process conditions
- Based on the classification of chemicals according to GHS and uses hazard statements and process conditions as inpus

SMC Category Hazard identification and risk assessment, Risk prevention and reduction
Subcategories Hazard identification and chemicals risk assessment, Process safety assessment, Workplace safety assessment, Preventive measures
SME Activity Product development and process design, Handling, Unloading and loading, Input material selection, Production
Resource Type Downloadable document
Author Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IFA)
Company type Synthesis of substances, Formulation of chemicals, Industrial users of chemicals
Year 2014

How to use it


1) Chemical information from the safety data sheet (SDS): hazard classes/H-statements
2) information on the exposure potential  (physical state, dust generation (y/n), vapour pressure)
3) Process information:

  • process design (open, closed, etc.)
  • if available, the process index according to the German TRGS 500 (Technical Rules for Hazardous Substances)


1) Risk assessment of alternatives for comparison:

  • risk level of health, environmental and physio-chemical hazards (from 'very high' to 'negligible')
  • safer alternative chemicals or processes
Learning time Medium (~4h)
User expertise Intermediate (scientific/engineering degree required/business management experience required)
User-friendliness Easy to use
Advanced tool No
Languages English, German