Chemicals and the GHS

A new system of chemical classification and hazard communication is coming into effect.

It is called the GHS, which stands for Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals. This new system replaces the previous Approved Criteria for Classifying Hazardous Substances.

The changes are part of the national model Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws that were adopted in 2012.

Here is a short video on what you need to know to be GHS ready.

The transition period to this new system ends 31 December 2016.

Up to December 2016From January 2017
Approved Criteria for Classifying Hazardous Substances NOHSC:1008(2004) OR the GHSWorkplace chemical classification, labels and SDS under Third Edition GHS only
National Code of Practice for the Preparation of Material Safety Data SheetsCode of practice for the preparation of safety data sheets for hazardous chemicals
The National Code of Practice for the Labelling of Workplace Substances [NOHSC:2012 (1994)Code of practice for the labelling of workplace hazardous chemicals
ADG Code for chemicals in transitADG Code for chemicals in transit

Changes in arrangements for the implementation of GHS from 1 January 2017

A range of further policy and legislative changes for GHS labelling implementation have been agreed at a national level under the Work Health & Safety legislation. There are also some changes specific to NSW.

At a national level, it has been agreed that:

  • Hazardous chemicals manufactured or imported and labelled prior to 1 January 2017 will be exempt from GHS labelling requirements provided these chemicals are correctly labelled in accordance with the NOHSC and/or ADG Code.   This means that products already in the supply chain will not need to be re-labelled.
  • All hazardous chemical products manufactured or imported from 1 January 2017 must be labelled in accordance with GHS requirements before being supplied into the supply chain.
  • Existing hazardous chemicals (with correct NOHSC and/or ADG Code label) already in the end user’s workplace will not be required to be relabelled with GHS labels.
  • Agricultural and Veterinary (AgVet) medicines listed in Schedule 8 of the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP) will not require GHS labelling.
  • AgVet medicines listed in Schedule 4 of the SUSMP that are in a form and packaging consistent with direct administration to animals will not require GHS labelling.

In New South Wales, it has been agreed that AgVet chemicals that are labelled in accordance with APVMA requirements will not need to comply with GHS labelling until 1 January 2018.

All these changes extend to suppliers of hazardous chemicals for their responsibilities on labelling under clause 338.

What you need to know

This information below provides you with an easy to understand summary of the GHS.

What is the GHS?Why do we need it?

Who does it effect?What are the changes?

PictogramsLabels

Safety Data Sheet (SDS)Transition period

Other countriesIn Australia

What do I need to do?Who do I contact?

Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (AgVets)

In NSW AgVets do not have to comply with GHS requirements until 1 January 2018. From 1 January 2018, all AgVets manufactured/imported will need to comply with GHS requirements.

For AgVets to be GHS compliant, they will require:

  • An SDS based on GHS classification
  • A label which incorporates GHS hazard and precautionary statements based on GHS classification which are not already incorporated in the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) approved label (refer to www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au for additional information).

AgVet labels do not require signal word or hazard pictograms.

All veterinary medicines listed in schedule 8 of the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP) or The Poisons Standard, does not require GHS labelling.

Similarly, veterinary medicines listed in schedule 4 of The Poisons Standard that are in a form and packaging consistent with direct administration to animals, for example - small containers, tablets, syringes and chewables will not require GHS labelling.

Further information

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Hazardous chemicals

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Contact Us

Email
contact@safework.nsw.gov.au
Telephone
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