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Chemical safety

Last updated May 2024

This chapter explains your legal obligations to safely store, use, transport and dispose of hazardous chemicals.

Chemical safety obligations

If you have hazardous chemicals in your workplace, you must implement an effective chemical safety management system to meet your health and safety duty to ensure your workers, and any others in your workplace, are not exposed to health and safety risks.

Definition: Chemical Safety Management

Chemical safety management is the implementation of measures to minimise the risks associated with hazardous chemicals.

Chemical safety management requires you to implement measures to ensure the safe:

  • use;
  • storage;
  • transportation; and
  • disposal of hazardous chemicals.
Important: Manufacturers of hazardous chemicals also have legal obligations relating to chemical safety.

When is a chemical hazardous?

Definition: Hazardous Chemical

A hazardous chemical is any substance, mixture or article that satisfies the criteria for one or more hazard classes in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. These chemicals have potentially adverse effects on human health.
Definition: Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)

The GHS is a single, internationally agreed-upon system of chemical classification and hazard communication published by the United Nations.