New REACH legislation: Mandatory Training for Diisocyanate Workers

From 24th August 2023 the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) restriction on the use of diisocyanates introduced new minimum training requirements for workers handling diisocyanates and mixtures containing diisocyanates.  We have already written to all our customers in advance of this requirement – this blog post provides further background and links to information.

What are diisocyanates?

Diisocyanates are one of the commonly used building blocks of polyurethane, used to make a wide range of products including furniture, footwear, insulation, vehicle parts and construction materials.

Since 2016 industry and government across the Europe has been working towards ensuring best practice in health and safety and enhanced protection of workers against the risk of working with these products.

This work has concluded that mandatory training for all workers dealing with diisocyanates is the most appropriate and effective risk management measure. Following a transition period, the requirement for training came into force on 24th August 2023.

It is important to note that virtually no diisocyanates are found in the finished articles (such as in a cured roofing membrane). Polyurathane products are made by reacting diisocyanates and polyols and these chemicals are used up during the reaction. The risk only applies to the workers applying the product in its pre-cured form.

Which products contain diisocyanates?

This REACH restriction of diisocyanates has been adopted due to the health effect they can cause on workers above a certain exposure level, so the restriction targets a specific useage level. The restriction is directed to products containing greater than 0.1wt% monomeric diisocyanates.

The following products supplied by SIG Design & Technology contain diisocyanates:

  • IKO tanetech BT
  • IKO tanetech UV
  • IKO tanetech Detail
  • IKO tanetech Finish
  • IKO tanetech Quartz Binder
  • IKO Polimar UV
  • IKO Bonding Agent
  • IKO Sprayfast IBA
  • IKO Sprayfast BMA
  • IKO Sprayfast FMA
  • IKO Sprayfast FMA
  • SIGnature Ultra Protect Waterproofing Liquids
  • SIGnature Ultra Protect General Purpose Primer

As a potential handler of these products, SIG Design & Technology has the obligation to inform our customers about the consequences of these regulations. Product labelling has been in place since February 2022.

What do contractors need to do?

PU Roof with plant

If you purchase or use products containing greater than 0.1wt% monomeric diisocyanates it is your responsibility to ensure that all users or handlers of these products within your own organisation undertake training.

The legislation states that from 24th August 2023 adequate training is required for industrial or professional use of these products. Industrial and professional handlers/users may continue to use the products if they have received training to control dermal and inhalation exposure before 24th August 2023.

If you or your employees intend to use products containing diisocyanates in the future, you need to ensure the necessary training is undertaken beforehand.

Where do we access training on safe use of Diisocyanates?

Leaflet screenshot - a safe future for polyurethane productsFEICA (the Association of the European Adhesive and Sealant Industry) together with several associations in the PU industry such as ISOPA and ALIPA have launched a comprehensive training programme to ensure the safe use of diisocyanates.

The training courses are offered at and are available as web-based training both for individuals or groups.

More information

FEICA has a useful web page on the safe use of diiosocyanates and has produced this leaflet ‘A safe future for polyurethane products’ (pdf) which shares answers to some frequently asked questions.

If you need further advice about our products, please get in touch with us.