Changes to the Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws that come into effect on 1 January, 2015 will cut red tape and make compliance easier for NSW businesses storing or handling dangerous goods.

Under transitional Dangerous Goods legislation, businesses were required to lodge an annual notification, but from next year, Dangerous Goods will fall under the WHS laws.

This means businesses only have to notify WorkCover NSW once, and only make further notifications if there are any significant changes to dangerous goods they store or handle.

Acting General Manager of WorkCover's Work Health and Safety Division Jodie Deakes said the new notification process would also streamline the collection of information about dangerous goods stored on premises, which was used in emergency responses and for environment protection.

The Dangerous Goods laws change-over will affect all hazardous chemical manufacturers, distributors and users – businesses such as factories, power stations, service stations and other retail outlets.

All notifications after 31 December, 2014, will fall under Schedule 11 of the Work Health and Safety (WHS) Regulation and be known as 'hazardous chemicals' notifications.

Ms Deakes said the changes would make life easier and less complicated for businesses.

"Instead of having to lodge a notification every year, businesses simply notify WorkCover once initially and only make further notifications where there are changes to their contact details or when there is a significant change in the risk of using, storing or handling the Schedule 11 hazardous chemicals," Ms Deakes said.

"We anticipate that this will see the volume of notifications dramatically decrease both for customers and businesses as a direct result of this change."

Ms Deakes said the new streamlined notification process would also simplify preparation of the mandatory on-site WHS manifest, which lists quantities and locations of dangerous goods.

"Previously, separate documents were produced for a site. This involved creating a list of notifiable goods and a site plan, which was submitted to WorkCover NSW as well as a manifest that remained on-site," he said.

"Under the new arrangements, the same documentation can meet both requirements. This means the customer now only has to prepare one set of on-site documentation."

The ability to lodge notifications online is also being considered.

A new guide providing information about notifications for Schedule 11 hazardous chemicals and abandoned tanks is available here.

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