New system for labelling of hazardous chemicals

‚ÄčIn 2017, there will be changes to the way hazardous chemicals used in workplaces are labelled. The Globally Harmonised System (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, which was adopted in Australia in 2012, will come into full effect in the Northern Territory and other Australian states from 1 January 2017.

The GHS is an international system to classify and communicate chemical hazards using consistent terms and information on chemical labels and Safety Data Sheets (SDS).

The GHS will have the largest impact on manufacturers, importers and suppliers of hazardous chemicals, there will be some requirements that end users will need to meet.

To ensure products currently in the supply chain can continue to be sold and used, the NT Government has put in place three exemptions.

What do I need to do?

For the first six months of 2017, it is business as usual, however you should:

  • Make sure your workplace has a safe system of work to manage the risks of using hazardous chemicals
  • Do a stocktake of chemicals at your workplace and dispose of the ones that are out of date or no longer used
  • Ask your supplier for updated SDSs for the chemicals you use.

After 30 June 2017, you should only buy chemicals that are classified and labelled according to the GHS requirements.

However, existing chemicals at your venue do not have to be disposed of or relabelled and you can continue to use these products until they are finished. Any replacement product you purchase should meet the GHS requirements.

Information for chemical retailers or suppliers

Suppliers and retailers should not accept product that was manufactured after 31 December 2016 that does not comply with GHS labelling requirements.

Additional information on the GHS can be found here or by calling NT WorkSafe on 1800 019 115