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Where can we find simple signage information?

Q: We just had an audit, and some of our chemical signs were not correct, where can I find simple information on signage?

A: The placard/signage requirements for chemicals in the workplace will vary depending on the jurisdiction in which you operate.

If you are operating in a harmonised work health and safety jurisdiction (all States and Territories other than Vic and WA), your obligations regarding chemical signage are set out in Reg. 349 and 350 of the harmonised Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 (Regulations).

Specifically, if you use, handle or store any placard quantity of a hazardous chemical at your workplace, you are required to display both:

a. an outer warning placard (Reg. 349, Regulations); and
b. a placard (Reg. 350, Regulations).

The placard quantities of hazardous chemicals are set out in Schedule 11 of the Regulations. Schedule 13 of the Regulations sets out the details that should be displayed on a placard or an outer warning placard.

You can find a copy of the Regulations at: www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017C00030.

For something more accessible, the work health and safety regulator in your jurisdiction will likely have a publication setting out when a placard is needed and the type required. By way of example, the SafeWork NSW publication is accessible at: www.safework.nsw.gov.au/media/publications/health-and-safety/placarding-for-storage-of-hazardouschemicals.

In Victoria or Western Australia, more information is available via those State’s regulators.

Additionally, Chapter C2 Chemical Safety Management of the Health & Safety Handbook sets out your general requirements in respect of hazardous chemicals in the workplace and may be a useful resource if you are reviewing your general work health and safety compliance in respect of hazardous chemicals.

Please note: The answer is correct at the time of publishing. Be aware that laws may change over time. Refer to Safety signs and Chemical safety for current advice.

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