Manufacturing hand sanitisers
The impact of COVID-19 has meant that many workplaces, such as hospitals, distilleries and breweries, are now manufacturing alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
Existing hand-sanitiser manufacturers may also now be producing much greater volumes.
We appreciate the businesses that are working hard to meet the demand. However, we want you to stay safe.
What you need to know
There are specific laws about working safely with hazardous chemicals.
There are also responsibilities you must meet, such as:
- preparing, maintaining and implementing emergency plans
- planning for emergencies with hazardous chemicals
- giving workers personal protective equipment (PPE), such as respirators
- managing risks from airborne contaminants, such as the release of vapour from flammable solvents
- managing hazardous atmospheres, for example, where the concentration of flammable vapour exceeds 5 per cent of the lower explosive limit
- managing fire and explosion risks, which may be caused by ignition sources, such as unrated electrical equipment or static generation
- keeping the amount of flammable and combustible substances at the lowest practicable quantity
- making sure manufacturer’s safety data sheets are prepared and available
- making sure hazardous chemicals are correctly packed and labelled
- making sure a hazardous chemical register is in place
- labelling pipework
- making sure appropriate leak and spill containment methods are implemented, such as bunds and spill kits
- implementing impact and damage protection for containers, such as tanks and vessels, pipework and attachments
- making sure appropriate fire protection systems are available at storage and processing areas
- controlling risks associated with storage and handling systems, such as drums, intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), tanks, vessels, processing equipment and associated equipment
- displaying placards, where needed, as well as safety signage
- notifying us when on-site quantities exceed manifest thresholds, and providing a compliant on-site manifest and site plan.
The diagram below is a sample of a label for isopropyl alcohol. It shows where you can find information on placards and labels required, as well as thresholds.
Transporting flammable liquids
If you’re transporting flammable liquids, more requirements may apply. Get information from the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).
The EPA also has information on selling dangerous goods online.
Australia Post prohibits the transport of many substances classified as dangerous goods. Read more in Dangerous and prohibited goods and packaging guide.
- Work Health and Safety Regulation 2017 – Part 7.1
- Guide to flammable substances
- Guide to placarding hazardous chemicals
- Code of practice for managing the risks of hazardous chemicals in the workplace
- Guide for managing risks at wineries
- A guide for flammable and combustible liquids
- Alcohol-based hand sanitiser – Work Health and Safety responsibilities
- Australian Standard AS 1940 – The Storage and Handling of Flammable and Combustible Liquids
- Australian & NZ Standard AS/NZS 60079.10.1 – Explosive atmospheres – Classification of areas