STORAGE OF DANGEROUS GOODS
The Dangerous Goods (Storage and Handling) Regulations 2012 set out the legal duties for manufacturers and suppliers, and for occupiers of workplaces where dangerous goods are stored or handled. The Code of practice for storage and handling of dangerous goods provides practical information on how to comply.
Are there dangerous goods in your workplace?
As an occupier, your first step is to identify all dangerous goods stored and handled at your premises. That includes any dangerous goods generated during a manufacturing process.
Manufacturers and suppliers must supply you with a safety data sheet (SDS) with dangerous goods. There must also be package markings and class or hazard class information. These will help you identify what’s in a product, precautions for use, and safe storage and handling requirements.
Storing certain quantities of dangerous goods
You must notify WorkSafe if your workplace stores or handles quantities of dangerous goods in excess of the relevant quantities specified in the table in Schedule 2 of the Dangerous Goods (Storage and Handling) Regulations 2012. Industrial sites that store, handle or process large quantities of hazardous chemicals and dangerous goods may be deemed to be major hazard facilities in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017.
SDSs and what they mean
- The product (its name, ingredients and properties) who manufactured or imported it how the product can affect your health how to use and store it safely.
- Who manufactured or imported it
- How the product can affect your health
- How to use and store it safely
Employers using or storing dangerous goods or hazardous substances on their premises must ensure that:
- They obtain an up-to-date SDS for each of these products
- Their employees, contractors and emergency services personnel have access to the SDS
Manufacturers’ and suppliers’ responsibilities
Manufacturers and importers of dangerous goods and hazardous substances must:
- Prepare an SDS for each of their products
- Give the current SDS to employers or occupiers of premises where the product is used or stored
- Review and revise each SDS as often as necessary (at least every 5 years) to make sure that the information is accurate and up to date
Downstream suppliers of dangerous goods and hazardous substances must also give SDSs to buyers, which they can get from the manufacturer or importer. This does not apply to suppliers who are retailers (for example, hardware stores).
Requirements of a compliant SDS
An SDS must be written in English, be legible and include:
- Product identifier and chemical identity
- Manufacturer or importer details
- Emergency telephone number
- Date of preparation or last review
- Hazard identification
- Hazard statement(s) and precautionary statement(s)
- Composition of the substance and information on hazardous ingredients
- First aid measures
- Firefighting measures and accidental release measures
- Exposure control, including exposure standards, engineering controls and personal protection information
- Information relating to handling and storage, including how the substance may be safely used
- Disposal considerations
- Information relating to the physical and chemical properties of the substance
- Stability and reactivity information
- Toxicological information, including health effects.
If an SDS is developed to meet another Australian jurisdiction’s hazardous substances legislation (eg NSW) then it will also comply with the Victorian OHS Regulations.