Hazardous chemicals

Exposure to chemicals is 100% preventable. Without the proper controls chemical exposure can cause cancer, respiratory illnesses, skin and eye irritations, as well as fire and explosion-related injuries.

Priority hazardous chemicals

Reducing exposure to hazardous chemicals at work is essential to creating a healthy, safe and productive workplace and a key focus area in the Work Health and Safety Roadmap 2022. There are thousands of hazardous chemicals used in the workplace, from paints to pesticides, cleaners and fuels. They come in various forms – powders, solids, liquids and gases. The Hazardous chemicals and materials exposures baseline reduction strategy identifies the 10 priority hazardous chemicals we aim to reduce.

Select a hazardous chemical below to learn how to protect yourself:

Corrosive substance pictogram
Hazardous chemicals - the big picture

Over the past four years there have been more than 6500 injuries in NSW workplaces as a result of poor handling or storage of hazardous chemicals. Eight people died and more than 250 are now permanently disabled.

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Must do’s

There are specific laws about working safely with hazardous chemicals. Here we summarise those laws and give you some practical tips:

We also have information on exposure to chemicals in nail salons.


Globally harmonised system (GHS)

The GHS is a single internationally agreed system of chemical classification and hazard communication through labelling and safety data.
Are you GHS ready?

Key information on hazardous chemicals

Aerial view of industry and shipping on Kooragang Island - Newcastle Australia. This industrial area and port is home to Heavy Industry in the Hunter Valley.
Major hazard facilities

Information for licensed major hazard facilities in NSW.

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