National Consultancy: Reducing Use and Release of Chemical of Concerns (COCs)

United Nations Pakistan
Full time Full day

The Contextual Background

Workers around the world are facing a global health crisis due to occupational exposure to toxic chemicals. Every year more than 1 billion workers are exposed to hazardous substances, including pollutants, dust, vapors, and fumes in their working environments. Many of these workers lose their lives following such exposures, succumbing to fatal diseases, cancer, and poisonings, or from fatal injuries following fires or explosions. Workers and their families face additional burdens from non-fatal injuries resulting in disability, debilitating chronic diseases, and other health consequences, including impacts on women’s reproductive health. All these deaths, injuries, and illnesses are entirely preventable. Nevertheless, workers continue to be disproportionally exposed to chemicals across almost all sectors. Production of chemicals as well as the industries using them are expanding, which means a high potential for increased occupational exposure. Moreover, with new chemicals introduced every year, mechanisms for regulating exposure such as the implementation of occupational exposure limits, struggle to keep up. There is therefore an urgent need to act and implement a range of effective measures to prevent harm to workers, their families, and wider communities.

With its unique tripartite structure, the ILO brings together governments as well as workers’ and employers’ organizations from around the world to negotiate, adopt, and monitor the implementation of international standards in a tripartite setting. In the last 103 years, the ILO has adopted more than 50 legal instruments for the protection of workers, but also the public and the environment, from chemical hazards. These include the Chemicals Convention, 1990 (No. 170), the Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents Convention, 1993 (No. 174), the Benzene Convention, 1971 (No. 136), the Occupational Cancer Convention, 1974 (No. 139), the Working Environment Convention, 1977 (No. 148) and the Asbestos Convention, 1986 (No. 162). The ILO has also produced various Codes of Practice and guidelines on the safe handling of chemicals in all kinds of hazardous working environments. Moreover, the fundamental Conventions on occupational safety and Health, the Occupational Safety and Health Convention (No. 155) and the Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention (No. 187), include key provisions for strengthening the OSH system, which is critical for the effective implementation of policies and programmes toward sound chemicals management.

In addition, the ILO offers technical assistance and provides training and guidance tools, to guarantee safe and healthy working conditions and minimize chemical risks at work. The ILO developed a global review on exposure to hazardous chemicals at work, which provides a sound evidence base for policy efforts toward the sound management of chemicals in the world of work. As such, it represents a necessary and comprehensive analysis of recent trends and priorities when it comes to protecting the health and safety of workers from occupational chemical exposures.

In the textiles sector, the ILO developed the Code of Practice on safety and health in textiles, clothing, leather and footwear. Adopted by tripartite experts at a meeting held in Geneva in 2021, the Code provides practical guidance on how to address and manage specific risks on the use of chemicals and other hazards substances by these industries. Based on the international labour standards and tools as well as the practice and lessons learned from ILO programmes in the sector, the Code is an important tool to formulate and measure the impact of control measures adopted by the in the sector.


Project Overview

The ILO is the United Nations agency for the world of work. It brings together governments, employers, and workers to drive a human-centred approach to decent work, through employment creation, rights at work, social protection, social dialogue, and gender equality.

The sound management of chemicals and waste is directly linked to the world of work. The ILO has long recognized that the protection of workers from the hazardous effects of chemicals is essential to ensuring healthy populations as well as sustainable environments. Nevertheless, workers, in particular women, continue to face disproportionally high exposures to chemicals and hazardous substances, which claimed the lives of almost 1 million workers in 2015 alone.

The ILO Country Office for Pakistan, with support from the Global Environmental Facility- United Nations Environmental Programme, has initiated the pilot project for Reducing the use and release of Chemicals of Concern (COCs), including Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the Textile Sector of Pakistan. The project aims to engage project partners and stakeholders in an active dialogue for policy and technical interventions in the sector.

The project will provide technical assistance to review the Federal and Provincial legislation with mandate of industrial use and release of chemicals. Technical support will be provided toward the adoption of the Hazardous Substance Rule drafted by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environmental Coordination, to ensure its provisions are in line with the ILO Chemicals Convention, 1990 (No. 170) and other international labour standards and tools related to the use and management of hazardous substances by the industry.

Furthermore, the project will support technical intervention in 10 textile mills in the province of Sindh. The project aims to provide technical guidance and capacity-building training to the selected textile mills to prevent and reduce workers’ exposure to chemicals of concern, including COCs and POPs, as well as to contribute for eliminating environmental impact from related operational activities. The Capacity Building Programme will provide guidelines for sound chemical management procedures from procurement, transportation, handling, storage, and responsible disposal of all chemicals.


Scope and Objectives

The purpose and objective of this Consultancy assignment is to engage a national expert to work closely with the National Project Coordinator throughout the project implementation by guiding, assisting, and delivering key outcomes regarding the Capacity Building Programme. The scope of the entire assignment is described below, in the following order:

i. In consultation with the Technical Experts in HQ and the Country Office (including officials from the Better Work and ILES programmes), draft the Risk Assessment tool for Textile Mills, which would serve as the baseline guide for designing the Capacity Building Sessions and developing the control measures to be adopted in each mill.

ii. Present the Draft Risk Assessment in the Inception Workshop to the project partners and stakeholders. Moderate the discussion on the draft and incorporate inputs from partners. In addition, to advise on the selection of 10 Textile Mills for the pilot phase.

iii. To share the final draft with the Technical Experts after incorporating the inputs from the Inception Workshop and formulate the final version to proceed.

iv. Conduct a thorough Risk Assessment in the selected 10 Textile Mills. To present the results of the assessment and submit a report highlighting gaps and recommendations that could be taken into consideration while designing and conducting Capacity Building Sessions in the Textile Mills. As the Trainer for the Capacity Building Programme, propose the programme session and outline training needs.

v. Run the Capacity Building Programme in all 10 Textile Mills. To design, implement and amend training modules and session under the technical guidance from SECTOR and ILO Islamabad.

vi. To develop and monitor the implementation of a plan with the control measures to reduce the risks of the use and management of chemicals by the industry. The National Project Coordinator will be available to assist in all activities.

vii. To monitor the results of the plan and provide a mid-term evaluation report on the Programme and deliverables.

viii. Conduct post-intervention review with the National Project Coordinator in all 10 Textile Mills. Provide feedback and technical advice on the intervention outcomes and expansion guidelines for an eventual second phase.

ix. Submit the Final Project Report to the ILO Islamabad Office.


Support and Consideration

i. The Duration of the assignment is from 01 April 2024 to 30 November 2024. The official Workday by the National Consultant is expected to be 35 to 40 days.

ii. The National Project Coordinator will be the focal point for the ILO Country Office. The National Consultant can request for technical support from the SECTOR and Technical Experts in HQ, and will consult with other ILO programmes in the country. The National Project Coordinator will facilitate pre-scheduled discussions with the specialists.

iii. The National Consultant will be provided with all relevant ILO Tools, technical reports, and training materials related to the sound management of chemicals.

iv. The Project is based in Karachi, Sindh. Therefore, the Financial Brief should cover travel accommodation costs for the National Consultant if not residing in Karachi.



§ At least a post-graduate degree in Business Management or Engineering, with internationally recognized professional courses in Occupational Safety and Health and Chemical Safety Management. Expertise and background in Environmental Protection and Industrial Waste Management will be keenly considered.

§ 10 years plus experience in the Textile Industry as an Expert on Occupational Safety and Health and Chemical Management and Safety. We expect the applicant to be well-versed in the procurement, transportation, handling, and disposal of toxic chemicals in the Textile Sector of Pakistan.

§ At least 7 years of experience as a Trainer on OSH and Chemical Management Training Programs, specifically for the Textile Sector. Any international certificate as an OSH trainer would be a plus.

§ The applicant must have an in depth understanding of Chemicals of Concern (COCs) and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), while also having operational hands-on experience in its management and adverse impact reduction.

§ Strong analytical skills with a notable record in computing and presenting both quantitative and qualitative data to diverse stakeholders.

§ Understanding of ILO International Conventions regarding Chemical Management and Safety, and Occupational Safety and Health. Particularly well-versed with the Chemicals Convention, 1990 (No. 170).

§ Previous experience with a leading development sector organization indicating strong communication, impressive technical reporting skills, and the ability to submit assignments within a designated timeline.


Financial Brief

The National Consultant will submit a detailed breakdown of the cost and remuneration. The Breakdown should cover day-wise remuneration, highlighting the total number of official workdays. If there is any outstation activity that requires the attendance of the National Consultant, then it will be communicated at the start of the contract to be included in the financial brief. In case any activity is scheduled during the implementation phase, the ILO Country Office will cover the cost of travel and accommodation. The financial disbursement will be made by each deliverable as the Terms of Reference highlighted in the Scope and Objective, further mentioned the following workflow:

Key Deliverables


Submission of Draft Risk Assessment Tool for the Inception Workshop


Submission of the Final Draft of the Risk Assessment after Consultation with the ILO Technical Experts in the SECTOR.

Submission of Risk Assessment Report on selected 10 Textile Mills in Karachi.


Submission of the action plan for the reduction of accidents and diseases in textiles mills, in accordance with the risk assessment reports

Mid-Term Progress Report of the Capacity Building Programme in 10 Textile Mills in Karachi.

Submission of Final Project Report after post-intervention evaluation of 10 Textile Mills in Karachi.


Review and acceptance of the Project Report by ILO Islamabad Office.



Interested candidates can send the following document to [email protected] by EOB 22 March 2024:

i. A two-page brief of how your professional and academic experience are relevant to this assignment. Furthermore, any or all detail that seems relevant.

ii. Financial Brief; mentioning all expenses along with remuneration per workday.

iii. Updated resume.

International Labour Organization encourages interest from people with disability.

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