Australia has been phasing in the new Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals, or GHS, for the last five years and this transition period ends on 31 December 2016.

This video steps businesses through how to comply with the new requirements and describes:

  • what the GHS is and who it affects
  • the benefits of the new system
  • the changes you will see on workplace chemical labels and safety data sheets
  • how manufacturers, importers and suppliers can implement the GHS, and
  • how workplaces can prepare for the new system.

Who is this seminar for?

This video is useful for any businesses owner, manager or worker in any location where chemicals may be present, including manufacturers and suppliers. The video is particularly relevant for anyone who works with chemicals and is responsible for labelling and managing chemicals in a workplace.

About the presenters

This video is presented by SafeWork NSW, the state’s work health and safety regulator. SafeWork NSW focusses on harm prevention and improving the safety culture in NSW workplaces, and offers advice on improving work health and safety, provides licencing and registration for potentially dangerous work, testing services, investigation of workplace incidents, and enforces work health and safety laws in NSW.

Additional resources


Are you GHS ready?

By SafeWork NSW


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Each year, huge quantities of hazardous chemicals are manufactured and supplied for use in workplaces around the world.


The dangers associated with working with chemicals needs to be clear, regardless of where the chemicals

are being used or who is using them.


To help with this, a new international system for classifying and labelling chemicals is now being introduced.


The GHS will be introduced on 1 January 2017.


Here we will give you some simple information on how to get ready.


The Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals - or the GHS - will replace the existing system for classifying hazardous substances and dangerous goods in Australia.


If you are a manufacturer, importer, supplier or user of hazardous chemicals, you need to start preparing

for the GHS.


The GHS will reduce the time and money that you have to spend to meet requirements for multiple labels.


It will also remove barriers to trade and protect your workers and the environment from chemical hazards.


Firstly, the GHS now uses one of two words to signal the level of classification.


They are 'DANGER' or 'WARNING'.


The GHS uses nine standard symbols, or pictograms, to show how chemicals are classified.


Labels will also be changed to include simpler hazard and precautionary statements.


The hazard statement describes the chemical's nature and severity.


For example - "Causes serious eye irritation."


The precautionary statement provides advice on how to avoid or minimise the risk of chemical exposure.


It also tells you how to deal with exposure if it happens and how to store and safely dispose of the chemical.


Safety data sheets, known as the SDS, will use clear language and 16 universal headings.


If you use hazardous chemicals, start by marking 1 January 2017 on your calendar.


From that date, any new supplier you get must be GHS compliant.


Plan ahead and conduct an inventory of the hazardous chemicals in your workplace.


Identify the hazardous chemicals you no longer use and decide if you'd like to keep them or safely dispose of them.


You can keep hazardous chemicals that have old labels after 1 January 2017 until they run out, but you should start to transition to the GHS by contacting your chemical supplier or manufacturer to obtain an updated SDS.


Look for GHS compliant products when you're ordering new chemicals or reconsider the quantities you purchase before 1 January 2017 to minimise the amount of stock you have with non-compliant GHS labels.


If you manufacturer, supply or import hazardous chemicals, don't forget you need to update your current SDS

or prepare a new GHS compliant SDS.


Are you GHS ready?


For more information,


call SafeWork New South Wales


on 13 10 50


or visit safework.nsw.gov.au


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