Hazardous chemicals

Labelling requirements for hazardous chemicals in the supply chain

The Regulator has granted a Class Exemption in Tasmania regarding the obligation on suppliers under regulation 338 of the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012.  

The Class Exemption means that, until 31 December 2017:

  • hazardous chemicals that are not agricultural or veterinary chemicals may only be supplied to other workplaces without GHS labelling if they were manufactured or imported before 1 January 2017 and are labelled in accordance with the National Code of Practice for the Labelling of Workplace Substances [NOHSC: 2012 (1994)]; and
  • hazardous chemicals that are agricultural or veterinary chemicals may only be supplied to other workplaces without GHS labelling if they were manufactured or imported before 1 January 2018 and are labelled, in English, in accordance with the requirements of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

Class Exemptions have also been granted in relation to regulations 335, 341 and 342.

Full details of each Class Exemption are provided in the Tasmanian Government Gazette – 21 December 2016.

Overview

The quantities and types of hazardous chemicals being used, handled or stored at your workplace classify it as either:

  • a hazardous chemical workplace
  • a manifest quantity workplace (MQW) or
  • a major hazard facility (MHF).

This then determines what you must do about safety at your workplace.

As explained below, most of the duties are required of the Person Conducting the Business or Undertaking (PCBU). However, others with obligations include workers, importers, manufacturers, and suppliers.

Hazardous chemical workplace

This is a workplace with hazardous chemicals where quantities do not exceed set amounts specified in the WHS legislation.

Obligations

Obligations of the PCBU include:

  • managing risks to health and safety associated with the hazardous chemicals
  • keeping an up to date register of hazardous chemicals
  • providing for correct labelling, safe handling and access to safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals
  • placarding.

See also relevant codes.

Manifest quantity workplace (MQW)

This is a workplace with hazardous chemicals where quantities exceed amounts in Schedule 11 of the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012.

An example of a MQW is a retail service station where quantities of petrol exceed 2500 Litres.

Obligations

The PCBU must notify WorkSafe Tasmania, in addition to meeting the Hazardous Chemical Workplace requirements.

Manifest Quantity Workplace notification form (pdf, 226.4 KB)

When notifying, the PCBU must include a copy of the hazardous chemical manifest.

For a MQW that WorkSafe has already been notified of, further notification must be made when:

  • there is a change of PCBU
  • Schedule 11 hazardous chemicals no longer exceed MQW quantities
  • there is a significant change to the risk of using, handling or storing schedule 11 hazardous chemicals

Major hazard facilities (MHF)

This is a workplace where, because of the hazardous chemicals present, WorkSafe Tasmania has determined there is potential for a major incident.

A MHF is usually very large, and requires the hazardous chemicals as part of its business activities. An example might be a business producing and storing 300 tonnes of industrial gases.

Obligations

To enable WorkSafe to determine if you are an MHF, the PCBU must notify where quantities exceed 10% amounts in Schedule 15 of the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2012 .

To make notification, contact WorkSafe.

Practical guides are available on the Safe Work Australia website to help facility operators to comply with the legislation.

Abandoned tanks

A PBCU must notify WorkSafe if a tank under its control or management has been abandoned.

The tank is taken to be abandoned if:

  • the tank has not been used to store flammable gases or flammable liquids for 2 years; or
  • the PCBU does not intend to use the tank to store flammable gases or liquids again

If the tank has been decommissioned, supporting evidence should be included. This might include a copy of the letter or certification from a competent person/contractor confirming the method of decommissioning.

To make notification, Submit the form to WorkSafe Tasmnaia


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