Protecting yourself, your employees and third parties (public, volunteers, visitors and contractors)

Download the entireChemical Business Checklist | or view the information for this section below.

Do you know about your work health and safety (WHS) obligations?

If you operate a business, you are required to follow work health and safety (WHS)
laws
. You can find out about your obligations and the relevant authority for your state or territory in which you operate your business from the WHS page on the business.gov.au site.

Have you provided all of the mandatory WHS information, processes and equipment for personnel in your workplace?

Work health and safety regulations require manufacturers or importers of hazardous chemicals to prepare a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for users’ reference. This is a key source of information to ensure that staff and other users undertake all the necessary precautions to use the product safely.

While an SDS provides information about the properties of chemical products it is your responsibility to ensure that you provide the necessary information, processes and equipment in your workplace to mitigate risks and respond to incidents. This may include substitution for a safer product, engineering or administrative controls, the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) or emergency eye wash and shower equipment.

Have you considered the level of exposure that you or your staff may have to chemicals?

Work health and safety (WHS) laws require any person conducting a business or undertaking to manage risks from exposure to hazardous chemicals. WHS laws also provide a maximum level at which any worker may be exposed to some chemicals in the workplace. These limits are called Workplace Exposure Standards for Airborne Contaminants. Guidance on interpretation of workplace exposure standards and a list of mandatory exposure standards is available from the Safe Work Australia website and from the Hazardous Substances Information System (HSIS).

Are you planning to store chemicals or chemical products on site?

If you are planning to store large amounts of chemicals on your site, the site may be classified as a Major Hazard Facility (MHF). If your workplace is classified as an MHF there are additional planning and reporting arrangements that you need to undertake.

Major Hazards Facilities information and guidance has been developed by Safe Work Australia. There are also storage and handling requirements for chemicals under state and territory legislation. Contact the relevant WHS regulator in your state or territory for more information. A list of relevant regulators and contact details are available at the end of this checklist.


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