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Posted: June 19, 2008
SME no longer blind spot in nanotechnology safety and risk management
(Nanowerk News) Companies which produce, use, process or market nanomaterials are confronted with specific unknown risks inherent to these substances. A new tool by the Innovation Society and TÜV SÜD now also allows smaller companies, research institutions and retailers to gain a well-founded overview of the actual risk situation in their operations. The specific experience of the two partners guarantees that potential hazards for health, safety and the environment will be recognized proactively and acted upon.
Nanotechnology is considered to be a key technology of the 21st century. It enables products and applications never thought possible before that have the potential to fundamentally alter many aspects of our lives. Along with the great opportunities e.g. in the areas of environmental, medical and material technology also come new potential risks that could hamper the success of nanotechnology companies. Therefore, a prudent handling of those risks is indispensable and called for by authorities, industry associations and NGO likewise.
Many small and medium sized companies (SME) already today make use of the favourable properties of nanomaterials in their production processes. However, the risks associated with these materials are largely being managed using traditional methods and systems. The introduction of nano-specific risk management systems represents a great expense both in terms of costs and time for these companies. Additionally, management often is not aware of considerable liability and product risks.
“NanoRisk Check” now enables these companies to have renowned nanotechnology experts from TÜV SÜD and Innovation Society perform an evaluation of their risks in the areas of occupational safety, health and environment, liability and product risks and suitability of the risk management system. A report will be compiled for the attention of the management board, highlighting weaknesses, necessary actions and proposing possible risk management solutions.
By making use of the “NanoRisk Check” SMEs will be in the position to overlook their nanotechnology risks with justifiable resource commitment. Especially in the context of the new European chemicals legislation (REACH) that is also applicable for non-European companies and increasing requirements from regulating authorities this will represent an important competitive advantage. Not least, workers, consumers and the environment will also benefit from improved risk management.
The product description is available under: www.innovationsgesellschaft.ch/index.php?page=156