The Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) was created by Work Health and Safety (WHS) to constitute a standard of chemical classification and hazard communication. It was also mandated to gradually replace the current systems for classifying the hazards of workplace chemicals and thus standardise the presentation of hazard information on labelling.
However, the dilemma lies in certain states which are not adopting the model WHS legislation. The introduction of the GHS posts a problem. Labels and safety data sheets, however, were formatted according to the new format. Consequently, interstate and overseas customers urge that requirements of the GHS should be complied with.
To solve this issue, Safe Work Australia is currently hosting a series of training sessions to educate organisations on hazard classification, labelling requirements for workplace chemicals in the model Work Health and Safety Legislation and work safety data sheets.
The following are the objectives of the comprehensive training session:
- Fully comprehend the GHS and its purpose
- Learn the hazard identification systems that have been adopted in Australia for 20 years and learn the relationship with the GHS, and
- Understand the ways to translate chemical hazard classifications to the GHS.
For each session, the training would last 2.5 to 3 hours and it is further divided into two main parts:
This is an orientation of the overview of the GHS, its scope and learning about the new hazard information, which now appears on safety data sheets and chemical labels.
Hazardous Chemical Classification
The second part of the training session targets those who are directly involved in hazardous chemical classification. This is also useful to those who would want to learn how the GHS interrelates to the new hazard systems used in Australia. It further explains how chemicals that currently have an Australian classification can be translated to comply with the requirements of the GHS. Part of the discussion will include classification of hazard mixtures. This is where practical application of theories comes in. General chemical users may opt not to participate in this particular session.
Some things to prepare before participating into the training sessions:
Classification of Hazardous Chemicals under the WHS Regulations Guidelines; and one of the following:
- Code of Practice: Labelling of Workplace Hazardous Chemicals, or
- Code of Practice: Preparation of Safety Data Sheets for Hazardous Chemicals, or
- Classification and labelling for workplace hazardous chemicals poster and (optional)
- GHS, 3rd Revised Edition (coloured purple)
These information sessions are being administered by and delivered on behalf of Safe Work Australia by Noel Arnold & Associates. To register for a particular session, send an email with your name, position and company contact details to the Safe Work Australia website. Slots are very limited and registration is required.