Another technique identified by Member countries that could improve risk management effectiveness is the integration of socio-economic analysis (SEA) in chemical risk management decision-making. To this end, the United Kingdom, hosted an OECD workshop from 7-9 January, 1998 that: provided basic information on general techniques and approaches to conducting and using socio-economic analysis; identified those techniques or approaches that are effective (highlighting any problems); and recommended further work to assist countries. As a follow-up to that workshop, OECD is developing three documents to promote and facilitate the integration of SEA in chemical risk management decision-making: (1) a guidance document for conducting retrospective studies on completed SEAs; (2) a "framework" document that will describe how to integrate socio-economic analysis into chemical risk management decision-making; and (3) a technical guidance document for analyst.
Socio-economic analysis is a well established method of weighing up the pros and cons of an action for society as a whole and plays a vital role in the restrictions and authorisation processes under REACH. Restrictions proposals need to contain a description of the risks as well as information on the health and environmental benefits, the associated costs and other socio-economic impacts. Companies that apply for an authorisation to use substances in the Authorisation List may include a socio-economic analysis as part of their application.