Limit Values Switzerland

The Swiss Accident Insurance Fund suva publishes the Swiss occupational exposure limit values, biological tolerance values and exposure limit values for physical agents for occupational exposure. The legal basis is the “Verordnung über die Verhütung von Unfällen und Berufskrankheiten (VUV)”, Art. 50 Abs.3. The occupational exposure limit values are published with the agreement of the Swiss Commission of occupational exposure limit values (Grenzwert Kommission) at the Swiss Association of Professional Societies for Safety and Health at Work (Suissepro). Members of this MAK commission are specialists in occupational medicine and occupational hygiene and represent the universities, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), Suva, the Swiss society for occupational medicine and the Swiss society for occupational hygiene.

The MAK value is defined as the maximum concentration of a chemical substance (in gaseous, vapour or particulate form) in the workplace air which generally does not have known adverse effects on the health of a healthy employee, even when the person is exposed to it for long periods, usually for 8 hours daily but assuming on average a 42 hour working week.

The Swiss Commission of occupational exposure limit values takes into consideration the following references:

  • The scientific recommendations for the establishment of MAK values (maximum workplace concentrations), BAT values (biological tolerance values for occupational exposure) from the DFG Commission for the investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area
  • The German AGS
  • The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)
  • The European Union: Commission Directive 2000/39/EC of 8 June 2000 establishing a first list of indicative occupational limit values in implementation of Council Directive 98/24/EC on the protection of the health and safety of workers from the risks related to chemical agents at work

The Swiss occupational exposure limit values are published every two years in German and French.

September 2012