WHAT ARE DANGEROUS GOODS AND HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES?
What are dangerous goods and hazardous substances?
Dangerous goods are classified on the basis of immediate physical or chemical effects on property, the environment or people, such as fire, explosion, corrosion and poisoning. Hazardous substances are classified only on the basis of health effects. They may be solids, liquids or gases. In the workplace, they are often in the form of fumes, dusts, mists and vapours.
Some substances are both hazardous substances and dangerous goods. In Victoria dangerous goods and hazardous substances are managed by different laws. Hazardous substances are covered by the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and related regulations. Dangerous Goods are covered by the Dangerous Goods Act 1985 (DG Act) and related regulations. Some substances are considered both dangerous goods and hazardous substances. In these cases you will need to comply with both sets of legislation.
What are dangerous goods?
Dangerous goods are substances that are corrosive, flammable, combustible, explosive, oxidising or water-reactive or have other hazardous properties. Dangerous goods can cause explosions or fires, serious injury, death and large-scale damage. The Dangerous Goods Act 1985 (DG Act) defines which substances are dangerous goods.
Examples of common dangerous goods:
- Flammable liquids (petrol, kerosene, turpentine, flammable paints etc.)
- Corrosives (hydrochloric acid)
- Flammable gases (LP Gas)
- Non-flammable non-toxic gases (CO2)
Dangerous goods, hazardous substances – what’s the difference?
Dangerous goods and hazardous substances are covered by different laws. Some substances are both hazardous substances and dangerous goods. Both sets of laws apply. For some duties, complying with one set of regulations will be enough to ensure compliance with the other.